EXPLAINED: The 'Impact Player' Rule For Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy
The idea behind introduycing the 'impact Player' rule is to make Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) ore attractive and interesting, for the viewers as well as force the teams to be more strategic.
In a first of its kind, the BCCI has moved toward innovation in the modern game by adding an ‘Impact Player’ rule for the upcoming season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT), which is India’s premier domestic T20 competition.
What does the ‘Impact Player’ rule mean?
Teams could replace one member of its playing XI during a match. The BCCI said it has taken inspiration from the rules of substitution from other games, like football, rugby, basketball - although the Big Bash League (BBL) in Australia had introduced and been using the X-Factor substitution for a couple of years already.
“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, baseball. The substitute is allowed to perform or participate like any other regular player,” the BCCI wrote in a note to the State associations, as seen by Cricbuzz.
When can a team introduce the ‘Impact Player’ in a match?
It is up to the teams whether or not to have an impact player, but should there be one, the ‘Impact Player’ can be introduced in the game at any time before the completion of 14th over of either innings. After the introduction, the new player can bat and may bowl a full allotment of four overs.
The board made it clear that at any point in the match there will be only 11 players. The ‘Impact Player’ will only be from outside the XI - that is from among the four substitutes named before the match starts.
The captain, team manager or the head coach will have to notify the fourth umpire, at the fall of a wicket or at the innings break, about the introduction of the Impact Player.
Why 'Impact Player' rule is added?
This idea is to make the format more attractive and interesting, for the viewers as well as force the teams to be more strategic.
How will the Impact Player rule help the teams?
Teams can add batting depth if they lose early wickets; or get in death overs specialist bowlers replacing a powerplay specialist or someone who’s not having a good day. This rule can also be a replacement for a batsman dismissed, but only 11 batsman can bat like a normal game.
This rule is a blessing for teams who may lose a bowler due to injury during their bowling innings.
Will the Impact Player rule be used in the IPL 2023?
Not yet. This is an experiment only for the SMAT this season. Whether to extend it to other events, like women’s cricket, is up to the BCCI for future seasons.
Important points regarding the ‘Impact Player’ rule:
- There cannot be an Impact Player if the match is reduced to 10-over a side and there are specifications in case of a Duckworth Lewis rule introduction leading to a curtailed innings for the side batting side.
- Outside of the Playing XI, four substitutes have to be named at the toss. One of the named substitutes can be employed as an Impact Player.
Should a player be injured while fielding in the middle of an over, the injured player may be replaced by the Impact Player mid over and the injured player cannot take 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 occurs, the same playing conditions allowing substitutes will be applicable.
Impact Players cannot be used in a match in which both innings have been reduced to less than 10 overs per side.
In case a side batting first has not has 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.
In case a commenced match is further reduced to below 10 overs per side and one team has already introduced the Impact Player, the other team can also exercise the right to use the Impact Player. If the match, once commenced, 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.
The Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (SMAT) starts on October 11 and runs till November 5.