The upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will witness a concept of tactical substitution known as the ‘Impact Player’ rule.

In December 2022, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced that a new rule will be introduced to “add a new dimension to the IPL.” Having termed it a “tactical concept”, the Indian cricket board stated that “one substitute player per team will be able to take a more active part in an IPL match.”

What is the Impact Player rule?

In essence, the Impact Player will be a 12th player who can be introduced to the game at any time in place of one of members of the original Playing XI. According to the Impact Player rule, each team will name four substitutes along with their starting XI on the team sheet before the toss. One of these four substitutes can later take an active part in the match as an Impact Player.

The Impact Player must be Indian in case the team has all four overseas players in their playing XI. But if the team has fewer than four overseas players in their starting XI, they can draft in an overseas player as the Impact Player.

The Impact Player will be allowed to bat and bowl their full quota of overs and can replace any starting member of the XI before the 14th over of either innings. Furthermore, it will be up to the teams to decide when or whether to use their Impact Player.

Meanwhile a team’s captain has the authority to nominate their Impact Player and decide whether they want to bring him in before the start of an innings, or at the end of an over, or at the fall of a wicket or when a batter retires. 

On the other hand, if an Impact Player is introduced by the bowling side during an over, or after any dismissal, or if a batter retires, then the substituted player will not be allowed to bowl the remaining balls of the over.

The player who will be replaced as an Impact Player will take no longer part in the remainder of the match as he is not even permitted to return as a substitute fielder.

The BCCI had earlier introduced the Impact Player rule in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy held in October-November.

Delhi’s young all-rounder Hrithik Shokeen became the first Impact Player to be used in the recently-concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. Having replaced opener Hiten Dalal at the start of the second innings, Shokeen bagged two wickets for just 13 runs to help Delhi claim a 71-run victory over Manipur in an Elite Group B fixture in Jaipur.