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What is the impact player rule, how will players be exchanged between matches and how much will the game change?

New Delhi: With an aim to make cricket more exciting, the Indian Cricket Board has decided to implement the rule of fielding substitutes in domestic cricket matches. Substitution of players already exists in football, hockey and many other sports and now it is being implemented in a different way in cricket. This initiative was first taken by BCCI. The BCCI has decided that teams can field substitutes in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, a domestic T20 tournament starting next month. This new rule is called ‘Impact Player’.

BCCI has sent a circular to all state associations in this regard. It added, “With the growing popularity of T20 cricket, it is imperative that we introduce new innovations that make the format more attractive to the audience as well as the teams.” According to the board, with this rule of ‘Impact Player’, the role of the substitute players of the teams will increase in the match. This will bring about a strategic change in the game. According to the report, if everything goes well, then this rule can be tried in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

What is the new rule?

  • At the time of the toss, along with the playing-11, the teams will also have to announce their four substitutes.
  • Only one of the four substitutes will be used as the dominant player.
  • In the match, effective players can be sent to the field only till the 14th over of the innings.
  • The player who is replaced by a new player will be out of the entire match. He will not even be able to field
  • An impact player can only be sent on or off the field between the end of an over, the fall of a wicket or the player being injured, and cannot be substituted in the middle of a match.
  • A fielder can take the field in place of a batsman or even a bowler.
  • A batsman can bat a full innings and bowl the full 4 overs, but in any case only 11 players can bat.

Not bound by rules
BCCI has informed its state associations about this new rule. It clearly states that it is up to the teams whether they want to have ‘impact players’ or not. They will not be forced to do so. According to the rules made by the board, if the match is less than 10-10 overs for any reason, then this rule will not apply. The advantage of this new rule will be that the team can field an extra batsman in case of batting failure or an extra bowler in case of poor bowling.

This is also an important aspect in the rule

  • If the match starts late or it is likely that 10 overs will not be played, the impact player rule will not apply.
  • If one team has used an impact player and for some reason the match goes to 10 overs, the other team can also use an impact player.
  • If the match is short and one team has not used an impact player, the other team will not be able to use it either.

The boss will no longer toss
The implementation of this rule will reduce the importance of the toss to a great extent. Teams can now use their impact players according to the terms. If the role of Dew has been important in the second innings of a match then the team bowling later in that match can strengthen their attack by bringing in extra bowlers. After the start of the match if it is found that the pitch is taking too much turn or favors fast bowlers, adding an extra spinner or fast bowler can put pressure on the batting team. Likewise, bringing in an extra batsman can help teams build on their poor innings.

This experiment has been done before

This is not a new rule. Earlier this rule of substitution of International Cricket Council (ICC) has been tried in the year 2005. Then it was named ‘Super Sub’. In that rule, if the ‘super sub’ has landed on behalf of the dismissed batsman, he cannot bat. The same was the case with bowling. The replaced ‘super sub’ could not even bowl more than the bowling quota. However, it received a lot of criticism after which the rule had to be withdrawn.

Big Bash’s X Factor rules

Australia’s T20 League Big Bash also has a similar rule. This is called the X-Factor. Under this rule, each team can make the 12th or 13th player a part of the playing eleven before the 10th over of the first innings. This rule requires that a player should not bat or bowl more than one over.


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