HomeIndian Premier League (IPL)Impact Player Rule in IPL - Know about Rule and Criticism

Impact Player Rule in IPL – Know about Rule and Criticism

Introduced during the 2023 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the Impact Player rule, in simple words, allows one substitute player per team to actively participate in matches with either bat or ball. Unlike the standard substitution rule in international cricket, where a substitute fielder can only replace an injured player on the field without batting or bowling, the Impact Player rule allows for tactical substitutions. 

“This will add a new tactical, strategic dimension to the game,” the IPL said in a release in December 2023. “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.”

What is Impact Player Rule in IPL? 

The Impact Player rule in the IPL, introduced in 2023, enables teams to name five substitute players alongside their playing XI before a match begins. Once the match begins, captains have the authority to nominate one of these substitutes to replace a player in the starting XI during any natural breaks in the game, such as the start of an innings, the end of an over, the fall of a wicket, or when a batter retires. 

However, if a bowling side opts to introduce an Impact Player after a wicket falls or if a batter retires mid-over, the incoming substitute cannot bowl the remaining deliveries of that over. Nevertheless, the Impact Player can complete their full quota of four overs, regardless of how many overs the replaced player has bowled. The replaced player can no further take part in the match, not even as a substitute fielder.

It is important to note that if a team selects four overseas players in their starting XI, they’re restricted to substituting with an Indian player as the Impact Player. This regulation maintains the limit of four overseas players per team per game, a rule upheld by the IPL since its inception in 2008. On the other hand, if a team begins with three or fewer overseas players in their XI, they have the flexibility to bring in an overseas player as the Impact Player. 

However, it’s important to clarify that despite the option for substitution, only 11 players can bat in a game. Therefore, if the batting team’s Impact Player is a batter who replaces a dismissed or retired batter, one of the remaining players, typically a bowler, will not have the opportunity to bat.

Throughout the 2023 season, the Impact Player rule was utilized 139 times across 74 matches. 

Read More: Who is Called Mr. IPL

Instances When Impact Players Made a Difference 

Venkatesh Iyer 

In a match between Gujarat Titans and Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL 2023, Venkatesh Iyer was chosen as the Impact Player to bolster the batting lineup after Rahmanullah Gurbaz’s early dismissal in the chase of 205. Replacing Suyash Sharma, Iyer’s explosive innings of 83 runs off 40 balls set the stage for Kolkata’s chase.

Dhruv Jurel

This was in a match between Rajasthan Royals and Punjab Kings. Facing a target of 198 against Punjab, Rajasthan sought batting reinforcement and brought in Dhruv Jurel as the Impact Player, replacing Yuzvendra Chahal. With 74 runs needed from 30 balls, Jurel’s aggressive batting saw him score 32 runs off just 15 balls. 

Fazalhaq Farooqi

Trying to defend a modest total of 121 against the Lucknow Super Giants, Sunrisers Hyderabad brought in Fazalhaq Farooqi as the Impact Player in place of Rahul Tripathi. Farooqi made an impact, dismissing Kyle Mayers and finished with impressive figures 13 runs for 1 wicket in three overs. 

Criticism of Impact Player Rule

The Impact Player rule in the IPL is facing criticism lately. It’s being blamed for the frequent occurrence of high scores, typically ranging from 230 to 270, in the 2024 season. This rule encourages aggressive batting from top-order players, knowing that a specialist batter will bat down the order. Consequently, it puts added pressure on bowlers, who already find T20 cricket challenging.

“Please remove this Impact Sub thing, the wickets are already flat and there’s nothing for the bowlers in it, previously, it used to be slow at times, but the batters now come out swinging at absolutely everything,” Pace bowler Md Siraj said recently in a pre-match conference. 

Moreover, the rule has devalued the role of all-rounders. Teams now prefer to select either a specialist batter or a specialist bowler as the Impact Player, sidelining the all-rounders.

“I am not a big fan of the Impact player rule. It holds all-rounders back, eventually, cricket is played by 11 players not 12 players. You are taking out so much from the game to make it entertaining for people around,” Rohit Sharma said in a podcast.



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