The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) decided to introduce a tactical player substitution rule termed Impact Player in its domestic T20 cricket tournaments, starting with the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022.
The new rule has been brought in to make the game of cricket more interesting and competitive. It is inspired by the substitution rules already used in other team sports like football, basketball, baseball, and rugby.
The Indian cricket board tested the Impact Player rule in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy before introducing it in the Indian T20 League.
What is the Impact Player rule?
The Impact Player rule allows teams to make a tactical player substitution in T20 matches by replacing one player in the starting XI with another at any point in a match.
Teams must name four substitutes along with their starting XI on the team sheet before the toss. Only one of these four players can be used as an Impact Player, allowing the substitute player to participate actively in the match. This certainly adds a new strategic dimension to cricket’s shortest format.
The Impact Player will be allowed to bat and bowl their full quota of overs and can replace any starting XI player before the 14th over of either inning. Furthermore, it will be up to the teams to decide when or whether to use their Impact Player.
Before deciding to make the tactical move, the captain/head coach/team manager has to inform the on-field or the fourth umpire before the end of the over in play at the time.
For a batting side, an Impact Player can be introduced after the fall of a wicket or during the innings break.
Meanwhile, in case of delayed matches or shortened matches of less than 10 overs, the Impact Player rule is not applicable.
The Impact Player has a broad tactical scope as there are no proper limitations on the role they can perform. For example, the Impact Player can replace a batter who has already been dismissed as long as the team uses only 11 batters. On the other hand, they could replace a bowler who has already bowled a few overs and still get to bowl their full quota of four overs.
Impact Player rule in Indian T20 League
Featured photo: MANJUNATH KIRAN / AFP