In an attempt to ‘introduce new dimensions’ in T20 cricket to make it more ‘attractive and interesting,’ the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced the inception of a new concept in Indian cricket, called the ‘Impact Player’ substitution.
Like football, basketball and rugby, teams will be allowed to bring in an ‘Impact Player’ from the reserves at the expense of a playing XI member, adding more thrill to a match. This concept will be first implemented in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy 2022, which starts on 11 October, before its official integration into the Indian Premier League (IPL).
“The concept of an Impact Player is to allow one substitute per game to take a more active part in a match. This would add a new tactical/strategic dimension to the game,” BCCI wrote in their circular.
According to a BCCI circular, each team will need to name four substitutes, alongside the usual playing XI. From the substitutes, any one player can be used as an ‘Impact Player’ substitution, providing the teams with additional strategic flexibility.
Rules Regarding the ‘Impact Player’ Substitution
There are, however, rules pertaining to the substitution to which teams must adhere. The circular states that the substitute player can be introduced in the match at any given time before the completion of the 14th over of either inning, following which the window for substitution will be closed. Besides that, the playing XI member who will make way for the substitute will not be allowed to take any further part in the game, even as a fielder.
A batting team will be allowed to use this option either after the fall of a wicket, or during the innings break. The new player will then be allowed to bat and also bowl the full allocation of four overs.
Alternatively, if a bowling team is using the substitution, the new player will be allowed to bowl all four overs, irrespective of the number of overs bowled by the player he replaced. However, if a bowler breaches a law and is subsequently suspended, he will not be eligible to be replaced.