On Wednesday, December 21, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) sent a note to all ten teams competing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) confirming the latest rule change for the 2023 season of the league, in which teams would be permitted to utilize one “Impact Player” every match.
The BCCI said earlier this month that it will introduce a “new regulation” for the 2023 IPL season, describing it as “a tactical notion” that will “bring a new dimension to the IPL.” The only information provided by BCCI at the time was that “one replacement player each club would be permitted to play a more active role in an IPL match.”
Time for a New Season For IPL 2023
Time for a New season 😃
Time for a New rule 😎
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) December 2, 2022
Now, the BCCI has sent a memo to the teams outlining this ‘Impact Player’ regulation and how the captains might utilize it throughout the competition.
The Impact Player rule permits each cricket team to make one tactical substitute every game.
While submitting the squad sheets, captains must also identify four replacements, one of whom can be used to replace a member of the Playing XI during the match.
The incoming ‘Impact Player’ will be permitted to bat and bowl his whole quota of overs. However, the BCCI has emphasized that the “Impact Player must be an Indian player unless there are fewer than four foreign players in the playing eleven.”
This implies that the restriction of four foreign players will not be exceeded despite the newest regulation modification.
However, overseas players may be used as ‘Impact Players’ provided they match the BCCI’s criteria: “Only an overseas player who is one of four replacements listed on the squad sheet may be utilized as an Impact Player.” If a club inserts an overseas player as an Impact Player during a match, a fifth foreign player is not permitted to participate.”
In addition to this clarification, BCCI has released rules for the usage of an Impact Player for IPL 2023:
- The Impact Player can be nominated by the team’s captain.
- An impact Player must be an Indian unless there are fewer than four international players in the Playing XI.
- The Impact Player may be presented before the beginning of the innings or after the completion of an over.
- An impact player may be introduced for a batsman with the fall of a wicket or the batter’s retirement at any moment throughout the over.
- A Player who is replaced by an Impact Player (the “Replaced Player”) is ineligible for the duration of the game and cannot return to the field as a replacement.
- The Impact Player can assume any duty during the course of the game, save the captain.
- If a team uses an Impact Player and an injury happens, the same rule will apply as it does under normal playing conditions. In other words, if the umpires determine that a fielder has been wounded or falls unwell during the game, a substitute fielder may replace the injured player. The substitute is not permitted to bowl or serve as captain.
- The BCCI has mandated that teams must designate their playing XI and four substitutes prior to the coin toss. Only one of the four substitutes listed on the squad sheet may be utilized as an Impact player.
- The bowling side may also bring in an Impact Player during the fall of a wicket; however, if the wicket falls in the middle of an over, the Impact Player may not bowl the remaining balls.
- Each side may utilize one Impact Player every match. It is not, however, required. It is up to individual clubs to utilize the Impact Player.
This regulation was first implemented by the BCCI during the just-ended Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Domestic Trophy in October and November of this year.
BCCI sent a message to all state organizations early this year stating, “With the ever-increasing popularity of Twenty20 cricket, it is vital that we consider incorporating additional elements that would make this format more appealing.”
The BCCI would seek to implement the ‘Impact Player’ idea, which would allow participating teams to replace one member of their playing XI during a T20 match dependent on the game situation.
It is also crucial to note that this is not a unique concept in Twenty20 cricket, since the X-Factor player is utilized in Australia’s Big Bash League (BBL)
The X-Factor player, who is the 12th or 13th player named on the team sheet, may enter the field after the 10th over of the first innings to replace any player who has not batted or bowled more than one over in that match up to that time.