What is the Impact Player Rule in IPL?

Every sport needs players and teams to use strategies to outclass their opponents. Most game plans are chalked out in the dressing room, while some are prepared as the match proceeds.

The same is true for cricket. The game involves a lot of planning and preparation to defeat the opposition team.

In 2023, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) introduced a new dimension to match tactics. The board came up with the Impact Player rule in the IPL.

So, what’s the Impact Player rule? And how does it work?

In this article, we’ll look at the Impact Player rule used in the IPL.

Impact Player Rule in the IPL

The Impact Player is like a tactical substitution, where the substituted player can play an active part in the game, both with the bat and ball. Such tactical substitutions were already in place for other sports like football and basketball.

The said rule is the opposite of the regular substitution rule, which allows a substitute player to only do fielding during the match. However, teams can use the Impact Player rule only once in an IPL match.

How Does the Impact Player Rule Work in IPL?

The Impact Player can replace any other player from the playing XI at any point during the match. But teams can’t bring in any player as an Impact sub.

After the toss is done, teams need to submit their playing XI along with the names of 5 substitute players. The teams have the liberty to choose any one of the 5 substitutes as the Impact Player.

Now, let’s understand how this rule works with an example.

Suppose a team is chasing a mammoth total, then they can bolster their batting by introducing a batter as an impact sub. The team can bring the batter in by replacing a bowler with less batting skills.

Similarly, a team can replace a batter from their side with a bowler, utilising them at crucial points while bowling. Such a bowler is allowed to bowl their complete quota of 4 overs.

Also Read | What is the Concussion Substitute Rule?

When can a Team Bring the Impact Player in the Match?

The teams can introduce the Impact Player at a few points during the game. The impact sub can be brought in – 

  • before an innings begins, 
  • at the end of an over, 
  • when a wicket falls or a batter retires

Once the impact sub takes the field, they can either bat or ball. However, if a bowler is subbed in at the fall of a wicket or when a batter retires during an over, they won’t be allowed to bowl the rest of the over. The bowler can then start bowling from the next over.

Can Teams Bring in Overseas Player as Impact Player?

Yes. But teams need to follow a certain rule.

If a team fields 4 overseas players in the playing XI, then they can’t bring in an overseas player as an impact sub. This is per the limit of 4 overseas players a team can feature in a match.

However, if they start with 3 or fewer overseas players, then they are permitted to bring in an overseas player as the Impact Player.

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