Last Updated: September 17, 2022, 12:06 IST
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has decided to introduce player substitution in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy slated to begin in October this year. The concept will be called ‘Impact Player’.
Over the years, BCCI has tried quite a few measures to make the game more interesting and competitive. ‘Impact Player’ concept, where the participating teams could replace one member of its playing XI during a T20 match is another add on from BCCI to make the game dynamic.
BCCI said in its note, “The concept is to allow one substitute player per team to take a more active part in a match. This would add a new tactical/strategic dimension to the game. A number of team sports allow teams to make tactical substitutes i.e. football, rugby, basketball, and baseball. The substitute is allowed to perform or participate like any other regular player.”
While the inclusion of a new concept has sparked excitement but there are certain rules attached to it. Firstly, the decision whether to have or not to have an ‘Impact Player’ lies completely with the team but in any case, there must be at least one such player who can be introduced in the match any time before the completion of 14th over of either innings in a match.
Some other important rules attached to it are –
- The player must be outside of the Playing XI, four substitutes will have to be named at the toss on one of those can be employed as an Impact Player.
- Only one Impact Player is allowed per team per match but the choice of using the Impact Player is up to the teams.
- The Impact Player can be introduced at any time before the completion of the 14th over of either innings in a match. In case of delayed matches, where by any chance less than 10 overs are scheduled to be played, then the Impact Player provision will not be applicable.
- However, in case a side batting first has not faced at least 10 overs (or the innings has been completed) before further reduction in overs, then both teams will be allowed to use Impact Players even if more overs are reduced.
- There is another catch in the 10 over rule. For instance, a match has started and it is further reduced to below 10 overs per side and one team has already introduced the Impact Player. Then, the other team can also exercise the right to use the Impact Player.
- But, if the match is commenced and is further reduced to below 10 overs and one team hasn’t used the Impact Player before reduction, then both teams won’t be allowed the use of the Impact Player.
- If at at any stage, the captain, team manager or the head coach feels to bring in the impact player then they can notify the fourth umpire, at the fall of a wicket or at the innings break.
- Once a player has been replaced by the Impact Player then the former cannot take part for the remainder of the match. That player will also not be permitted to return as a substitute fielder.
- Substitute Fielder Rule – In case a player gets injured while fielding in the middle of an over, then in such a condition according to Rule 24.1, the injured player can be replaced by the Impact Player mid over but the injured player cannot participate for the rest of the match. Otherwise, the Impact Player can be used only after the completion of the Over.
- In case the Impact Player is used and subsequently an injury also occurs, then in such a case, same playing conditions allowing substitutes will be applicable.
- The bowling team can bring the Impact Player mid-over or at the end of the over if there is an injury to any fielder.
- However, if during the match, a bowler is suspended for any breach of law then the ‘Impact Player’ cannot substitute that player.
The rules look quite interesting because it will matter quite a lot as to how and when teams use their Impact Player and how much they can change the dynamics of the match at any given time. However, the BCCI has clarified that it is an experiment only for the current season of Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. They haven’t yet thought of involving it in women’s cricket or Indian Premier League (IPL) as of now.