The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to implement an 'Impact Player' or a substitute player in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and other domestic T20 tournaments. The decision comes in order to make the format more dynamic, and intriguing not only for the fans but also for adding another strategic aspect to the game, which will be added this season.
According to the reports, the Indian Premier League's upcoming season will also adopt the impact player rule where teams will be permitted to make one substitution from their starting XI during a game. The board will be trying out the new rule in domestic games, starting from the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. As reported by the Indian Express, a circular was sent across all state associations, where the BCCI wrote:
“With the ever-growing popularity of T20 cricket, it is imperative that we look at introducing new dimensions which will make this format more attractive and interesting not only for our viewers but also the participating teams from a strategic viewpoint.”
“Teams need to identify playing XI and 4 substitutes at the time of the toss. Out of the 4 substitutes named in the team sheet, only one of the players can be used as an Impact player,” the BCCI circular further stated.
Guidelines for implementing an ‘Impact Player’
The fourth umpire or the on-field officials must be informed when an Impact Player is used by the captain, head coach, and team manager. Even if the player will be replacing a bowler who has completed four overs, the substitute player is only allowed to bowl a total of four overs.
“An Impact Player may bowl a full allotment of 4 overs in an uninterrupted inning irrespective of the number of overs previously bowled by the player he is replacing. If a bowler is suspended because of any breach of law, then he cannot be replaced by the Impact Player,” part of the circular further read.
When an Impact Player is brought in for an injured player, the injured player cannot take part in the game. If not, an Impact Player can only be brought in after an over is finished. However, if a team brings in an Impact Player and an injury takes place, the same regulation will apply as it does while the game is in progress.
“Player who is replaced by an Impact Player can no longer take part in the remainder of the match and is also not permitted to return as a substitute fielder. If a player gets injured while fielding in mid-over, the current playing condition prevails under 24.1 – substitute fielders,” the note added.
The batting team can bring in an Impact Player either when a wicket falls or during the innings break. In this case, the team must inform the fourth umpire.
“After the introduction of Impact Player in the game, a player can bat and may bowl a full allotment of 4 overs in an uninterrupted inning. In case a player gets retired hurt, Impact Player can be introduced only at the end of the over in progress and is eligible to bat. In any situation, only 11 players can bat,” the note stated.
A bowling team can bring in their Impact Player after an over or if a fielder is injured. But no Impact Players can be used during a delayed start with a decrease of overs to less than 10 per innings before the start of the game.