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BCCI may scrap up IPL Impact Player Rule

BCCI may scrap up IPL Impact Player Rule
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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is facing growing criticism over the Impact Player rule introduced in the 2023 IPL season. With concerns rising, the board has announced open discussions on the rule’s future, potentially even leading to its removal from future tournaments.

This move comes after prominent voices joined the chorus against the rule. Ex-Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma recently spoke out on the “Club Prairie Fire” podcast, expressing his disapproval. “I’m not a big fan of the Impact Player (rule),” he said. “Eventually, cricket is played by 11 players, not 12. You are taking so much out of the game just to make it a little entertaining for the people.”

Arun Dhumal, Chairman of the IPL Governing Council, echoed concerns and confirmed a thorough review. “Now that such an observation has been made, we will definitely look into it,” he stated. “We are open to any discussion once the season gets over… nothing is cast in stone about its implementation.”

A Look at the Impact Player Rule:

The Impact Player rule allows teams to select four additional players beyond their regular playing XI. During the match, at any break, one of these substitutes can be brought in to replace a player from the starting XI. This essentially creates a 12-player squad with tactical flexibility. However, the rule comes with specific conditions:

  • Bat or Bowl: The Impact Player can be a batsman or a bowler, depending on the team’s need at that moment.
  • Indian Restriction: If a team already has four overseas players on the field, the Impact Player must be Indian.
  • Bowling Rules: There are specific regulations regarding bowling changes. A substitute bowler cannot complete the over started by the replaced player, but they can bowl their full quota of four overs irrespective of how many overs the replaced player had bowled.
  • One Swap Only: Teams can only utilize the Impact Player rule once per match. The replaced player is out of the game entirely.

Criticisms of the Rule:

Despite its goal of adding tactical intrigue, the Impact Player rule has drawn criticism for several reasons:

  • Reduced Value of All-Rounders: Some argue that the rule diminishes the role of all-rounders who can contribute with both bat and ball. With teams potentially opting for specialists depending on the situation, all-rounders might find fewer opportunities.
  • Disruption of Team Strategy: Pre-match planning and team composition can be disrupted by the rule. Captains may hesitate to select players with specific skillsets, unsure if they might need a different specialist later.
  • Impact on Player Development: Concerns exist that the rule might hinder the development of young players who may not get consistent playing time due to the possibility of being swapped out.

The Road Ahead:

The BCCI’s openness to discussions suggests the Impact Player rule may be revised or even scrapped altogether. The upcoming discussions will involve stakeholders like franchises, players, and experts. Their feedback, along with the season’s performance under this rule, will determine the fate of this contentious addition to the IPL.

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