Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have introduced the ‘Impact Player’ rule in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy, the domestic T20 competition.
Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have taken a leaf out of Cricket Australia’s playbook and introduced an innovative measure for Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the domestic T20 competition. The new concept, called ‘impact player’, could well be introduced in the Indian Premier League (IPL) as well.
What is the ‘Impact Player’ rule?
As per the rule, both teams can replace one member of their playing XI during a match, if they think it will be handy for their chances to turn a game around. That player will be labelled the ‘impact player’ (another terminology in play is ‘super sub’ or super substitute). Super sub is a fairly common terminology in football, for example, where a player who came late on as a substitute makes a mark on a game.
The change takes inspiration from sports like football, rugby, basketball among others where substitutes are allowed.
The ‘Impact Player’ as a concept is not new to T20 leagues. In Australia’s Big Bash League, an ‘X-Factor Player’, named as either the 12th or 13th player, can come into the game beyond the 10th over of the first innings. The ‘X-Factor Player’ can replace someone who is yet to bat, or has bowled no more than one over. A replacement player can bowl a maximum allotment of four overs, as is the rule with T20 cricket.
Why has the ‘impact player’ rule been introduced?
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
The idea, to come into effect from the next domestic season which starts 11 October, is to make the T20 format even more attractive, dynamic and interesting “not only for the viewers but also participating teams from a strategic viewpoint.”
“The concept is to allow one substitute player per team to take a more active part in a match. This would add a new tactical/strategic dimension to the game. A number of team sports allow teams to make tactical substitutes i.e. football, rugby, basketball, baseball. The substitute is allowed to perform or participate like any other regular player,” the BCCI note to state association had said.
How will the Impact Player rule work?
Here’s how it works: Four substitutes have to be named at the toss by both sets of captains. One of those substitutes can be employed as an Impact Player.
The player replaced will thus become ineligible for the remainder of the contest. He/she cannot come on as a substitute fielder either.
Most important bit: The Impact Player, or super-sub, can be introduced any time before the completion of the 14th over of either innings in a match. The on-field or the fourth umpire has to be notified of the change by the captain/head coach or team manager.
An impact player cannot be used, however, in a match in which both innings have been reduced to less than 10 overs per side.
The use of an ‘Impact Player’ is not mandatory. A team can exercise it as an option but will not be bound by it.
When can an Impact Player come in?
An ‘Impact player’ can be introduced to the field only at the end of an over and not during an over. The exceptions to this rule apply to the batting team which can introduce him after the fall of a wicket. Meanwhile, the bowling side can introduce it if a fielder is injured.
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