The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to introduce a new rule ‘Impact Player’ for its Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) Twenty20 tournament starting next month and may feature in next year’s Indian Premier League (IPL 2023) too.
The BCCI has followed Australia’s Big Bash League’s (BBL) ‘X-factor’ rule in adding this new substitution rule. This will “add a new tactical/strategic dimension to the game”, the BCCI said.
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What did BCCI say?
The Indian cricket board has written to all its state associations about the ‘Impact Player’ rule.
In an email, it said, “With the ever-growing popularity of T20 cricket, it is imperative that we look at introducing new dimensions which will make this format more attractive and interesting not only for our viewers but also the participating teams from a strategic viewpoint.
“The BCCI would like to introduce the concept of ‘IMPACT PLAYER’ wherein participating teams could replace one member of its playing XI during a T20 match based on the context of the game.”
What is ‘Impact Player’?
An ‘Impact Player’ is nothing but a substitute player. As per BCCI’s new rule, each playing team can have one Impact Player per match.
Before the toss, the teams, along with their Playing XIs, now, have to name four additional players to be picked as one Impact Player.
“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 said in its circular to state associations.
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The Impact Player can be introduced before the completion of the 14th of either innings. Before his introduction, the teams have to inform the on-field umpires or the fourth umpire. The Impact Player can come in only at the end of the over or at the fall of a wicket or at the end of the innings or when a player is injured.
“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 circular stated.
Only 11 can bat per team
The Impact Player can come in for a batter who has already been dismissed and can bat and bowl his full quota of four overs. However, a team can only use 11 batters per match.
“After the introduction of Impact Player in game, a player can bat and may bowl a full allotment of 4 overs in an uninterrupted innings. In case a player gets retired hurt, Impact Player can be introduced only at the end of the over in progress and is eligible to bat. In any situation, only 11 players can bat,” as per the BCCI’s circular.
For the matches reduced to 10 overs or less due to inclement weather or others, there will be no provision to introduce the Impact Player, the BCCI said. However, in the case when a match starts with the full quota of 20 overs and is further shortened to 10 overs or less and the batting team has introduced its Impact Player, then the bowling side too can use the option.
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Other things to know
If a bowler is suspended for bowling two beamers, he can be replaced by the Impact Player but he cannot bowl.
The player who has been substitute cannot take further part in the game, even as a substitute for an injured player.
What is BBL’s ‘X-Factor’ rule?
In the BBL, a team can introduce X-Factor player at the end of 10 overs (halfway mark). Teams are allowed to nominate two players each before the match (12th and 13th players). However, he can replace a player who is yet to have batted or has bowled not more than one over.
ICC’s Supersub rule
Earlier, in 2005, the International Cricket Council (ICC) introduced the ‘Supersub’ (substitution) rule for ODIs where teams had to name their Supersubs before the toss. However, the rule was scrapped after nine months.
In 2019, the ICC introduced ‘like for like’ concussion substitutes for all matches. “Teams will have the option of replacing a player who has sustained a head or neck injury during an international match and has subsequently been diagnosed with concussion or suspected concussion,” ICC had said.