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What is an 'Impact Player'? All you need to know about IPL's latest innovation

Updated on: 30 March,2023 11:51 AM IST  |  Mumbai
mid-day online correspondent |

The cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) is known to introduce innovative elements each season to make it more alluring to its fans. The 16th edition looks no different

What is an 'Impact Player'? All you need to know about IPL's latest innovation

Gujarat Titans lifts IPL 2022 trophy (Pic Courtesy: AP)

The cash-rich Indian Premier League (IPL) is known to introduce innovative elements each season to make it more alluring to its fans. The 16th edition looks no different. Fans will be treated with the introduction of 'Impact Player' rule as well as the return of the home-and-away format. In fact, it is the first season to feature an Impact Player or a substitute who can come in to bat and bowl should the need arise. However, the league has stipulated that such a player can only be of an Indian-origin unless there are fewer than four overseas players in a team's starting XI.

"This will add a new tactical, strategic dimension to the game," the IPL stated in a release days ahead of the mega auction. "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."

Also Read: IPL 2023: Grit, glory, and grandeur! A tournament like no other!

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) first introduced the rule in flagship domestic T20 tournament Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy last year. The rule is believed to change matches on its head, and if utilised to the fullest, it can change dimensions of a match and make the said player a hero.

Here is all you need to know about the 'Impact Player' rule in the TATA IPL 2023.

What is meant by the ‘Impact Player’ rule?

The ‘Impact Player’ rule allows teams to bring in what is cricket’s equivalent of a substitute midway through the match, thereby letting each team to make adjustments according to changing conditions or even replace a non-performing player, much like soccer.

Unlike the concussion substitute or the ‘Super Sub’ introduced by the ICC years ago, the ‘Impact Player’ does not have to be identical in role to the player who is about to be substituted. That means, a bowler can also replace a batter or an all-rounder.

How is the rule going to be implemented in IPL 2023?

As and when the need arises. In addition to a team's starting XI, a team will have to list four substitutes during the toss, of which they can use any one of the four subs as their Impact Player depending upon the situation.

When can the 'Impact Player' be brought in during an ongoing match?

Quite a few. A captain can nominate the team's Impact Player and have them join the team before the start of an innings or at the end of an over or at the fall of a wicket or when a batter retires. However, it must be remembered that if the bowling side brings in an Impact Player during an over, either at the fall of a wicket or after a batter retires, he will not be allowed to bowl the remaining balls of the over.

What happens to the player who is replaced by the 'Impact Player'?

The replaced player will have no further participation in the match, neither even as a substitute fielder.

What are some exceptions to the 'Impact Player' rule?

There are also a few exceptions to the newest innovation in the IPL. If a team names four overseas players in their starting XI, they are only allowed to bring in an Indian player. This is another way to limit the number of overseas players per game to four in each team, something that the league has adhered to since its inception. However, if a team plays with three or fewer overseas players in their XI, they are allowed to bring in an overseas player as the 'Impact Player', given that he is among the four substitutes named by the captain during the toss.

How does the 'Impact Player' rule work in bowling?

When a bowling team introduces their 'Impact Player', they will be allowed to finish their full quota of four overs irrespective of the number of overs bowled by the player they are replacing. That is to say, if a particular team has a powerplay specialist and bowls them out at the start of the innings, they could then replace the him with a death-overs specialist who can continue bowling four overs. However, if the bowling team brings in an 'Impact Player' in the middle of an over, the bowler can only bowl till the end of the over.

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