The Impact Player Rule in the IPL 2023 has kept the fans, players, and coaching staff busy and excited. The IPL has seen some Impact Players making positive impact to their sides’ performance on the field, and a few of them have not returned the expected goods.
Nonetheless, the Impact Player rules seems to have gotten a warm welcome from everybody with the stakeholders realising that this has made cricket a bit more exciting and keeping everyone on their toes.
For the first time in the IPL history, the BCCI introduced the Impact Player rule, in the belief that this will add a new tactical, strategic dimension to the game.
A side getting off to a bat start by losing early wickets can lengthen their batting by introducing an extra batter in the form of an Impact Player. Same goes for the bowling team, who if loss for variety, can get in an extra bowler or better, an all-rounder to not lose batting strength when they come to bat while also getting an additional bowling option.
Most team sports in the world like football, rugby, basketball, and baseball allow teams to make tactical substitutions where the substitute is allowed to perform or participate like any other regular player, and to keep up with them, it was only a matter of time that cricket, too, will see the Impact Player being used in T20 Internationals.
Here are 2 primary reasons why T20Is could also soon include Impact Player rule:
More players get chances
One thing which many have pointed out is that the Impact Player rule allows players to get chances who instead would have been benched.
For example, CSK‘s Tushar Deshpande or LSG’s K Gowtham or RR’s Navdeep Saini or PBKS’ Rishi Dhawan – they all got opportunities to bowl their full quota of 4 overs only after being introduced as Impact Player. Their teams already had 5 or more bowling options, and they didn’t start in the XI. Yet, they got the chance to make an appearance and perform.
Impact Player rule renders teams to play with better players, and that enhances the game quality
Another thing that fans are happy to see is that through the Impact Player, teams have the option to lengthen their batting and bowling. This means that at most times where a weaker bowler could have been bowling, or a team would have been a batter short, now, they can get the desired results more often because they don’t lack bowling options or batting depth.
Teams now have an even better chance to win than they did earlier.
KKR‘s CEO Venky Mysore, while speaking with ESPNcricinfo, put the effect of the Impact Player rule very well, recalling a game against LSG in IPL 2022, where KKR needed 3 runs off the last ball but it was Umesh Yadav who was on strike after Rinku Singh had got out on the penultimate ball, and Umesh got out. Had there been the Impact Playe rule then, it would have been a better batsman than Umesh facing the last ball, and there chances of winning would have been higher with a proper batsman facing the last ball instead of Umesh.
“We were almost there. We had one ball and we needed two [three] runs. Umesh Yadav went in to bat. Had the Impact Player rule existed, perhaps KKR coaches could have replaced Umesh Yadav, immediately after he finished bowling [his four overs], with a specialist batter. And that could have changed the entire equation,” Mysore recalled.
So clearly, the two major impacts of the Impact Player rule are that more players get opportunity, and there will be a higher quality of cricket on display.