BCCI is set to introduce a new concept in their domestic T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. It is called the Impact Player substitution. The Indian cricket board, led by Sourav Ganguly, wants to make T20 cricket in India even more spicier and hence the introduction of a new rule. If things go right, then we may see this rule being introduced in the cash-rich Indian Premier League and because BCCI has a big share in ICC, it could even be adopted by the world governing body in future.
When you inject new elements to spice up things, you fall into the trap of having to invent such features regularly. “What’s new this year” becomes the theme. If T20 gets jaded,as 50 overs cricket seemed when T20 was invented, you could look at rejuvenating it. For now it is fine
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) September 17, 2022
But what is an Impact Player rule?
If this rule comes into effect, teams will be allowed to make maximum of 1 substitution from their playing XI during a game to increase their chances of winning. In the end, this player could eventually make an impact. Hence, the BCCI calls this substitution an impact player. The BCCI has already sent a circular to state associations, as per a report in Indian Express. In the circular, BCCI has underlined that it wants to make the format more attractive and interesting. It wants to teams to make more tactical decisions and change strategies during the match.
“Teams need to identify playing XI and 4 substitutes at the time of the toss. Out of the 4 substitutes named in the team sheet, only one of the players can be used as an Impact player,” the BCCI circular states.
“Player who is replaced by an Impact Player can no longer take part in the remainder of the match and is also not permitted to return as a substitute fielder. If a player gets injured while fielding in mid-over, the current playing condition prevails under 24.1 – substitute fielders,” the note added.
Batting in context Impact Player rule
To explain how batting teams can use the Impact Player rule, here’s an example: The batting team loses a couple of early wickets and they can substitute a dismissed batter to add to their batting depth. The Impact Player can be substituted for the batting team either at the fall of a wicket or during the innings break. But if a batter gets injured and is retired hurt, the impact player can be replaced at the end of the over which is going on.
Bowling in context of Impact player rule.
A bowling team too can replace a bowler if they feel like from the 4 substitutions they announce before the match to add depth to their bowling. It must be noted that an Impact Player may bowl a full allotment of 4 overs in an uninterrupted inning irrespective of the number of overs previously bowled by the player he is replacing. If a bowler is suspended because of any breach of law, then he cannot be replaced by the Impact Player.
It is also to be noted that no impact player can be brought in in middle of an over except on one occasion, that is when a player is injured.