Is it time for BCCI to scrap Impact Player Rule?



Jay Shah, Impact Player Rule and Rohit Sharma (PC: X)

The Impact Player Rule in the Indian Premier League has ignited serious debate, particularly surrounding its potential impact on the development of all-rounders in Indian cricket. The rule, which was introduced in the 2023 season, allows IPL teams to substitute a player – whether a batter or a bowler – during their innings depending on the match situation.

One of the critical issues brought to the forefront by this rule is the specialised use of players like Shivam Dube, Rahul Tewatia, Washington Sundar, Tilak Verma, Vijay Shankar among many others. Despite being considered a seam-bowling all-rounder in contention for the Indian set-up alongside Hardik Pandya, Dube has been utilised solely as a power-hitter by his franchise, Chennai Super Kings. He hasn’t bowled at all in the 2023 and 2024 editions of the IPL. This limitation has led to a situation where Dube’s bowling skills have not been used, thus hindering his development as an overall prospect for international cricket.

The rule has also given a free licence to batters with the tournament witnessing record-breaking runs being scored. A total of 557 sixes and 963 fours have been hit with six centuries and 51 half-centuries. And it is mostly because teams know that they have an extended batting line-up for just 20 overs.

India captain and Mumbai Indians legend Rohit Sharma opined on the debate and clearly stated that he was not a fan of the rule: “I genuinely feel that it is going to hold back (the development of Indian all-rounders),” Rohit said while speaking to Michael Vaughan and Adam Gilchrist’s YouTube show Club Prairie Fire. “Eventually, cricket is played by 11 players, not 12 players. I am not a big fan of ‘Impact Player’, you are taking out so much from the game just because of a little bit of entertainment.”

He added: “For people around… I can give you so many examples, guys like Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube are not getting to bowl. For us (Indian team), it is not a good thing you know. I don’t know what you can do about it but I am not a fan of it, frankly speaking.

For the Latest Sports News: Click Here

Jasprit Bumrah, Rohit Sharma and others for MI (PC: MI/X)

“It is entertaining because there are 12 players, whoever the impact player is, you can change a player later seeing how the game goes, depending on how the pitch is behaving. If you bat well, don’t lose wickets, you can add another bowler, you have six-seven bowlers and you don’t need an extra batter if teams are batting well up front. You hardly see a No.7 or a No. 8 coming in to bat.”

Former India captain MS Dhoni had highlighted the concern around the influence of an all-rounder before the game against Gujarat Titans in the 2023 IPL, when he said: It’s a luxury to have (impact player). It becomes slightly easier to make the decision because you can use it at any time. Influence of all-rounders has become slightly less because of the rule.”

Even former Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who is the head coach of Delhi Capitals, had echoed Dhoni’s opinions before the start of this year’s IPL. “Actually, it almost negates the role of all-rounders in the game now as you don’t need to pick all-rounders, name a batting or bowling-heavy team and just take one out and bring another one in. Unless they (all-rounders) are absolutely world-class and they could be picked as a batter or a bowler not as a bits and pieces guy, I don’t think you will see many teams actually use the guy that bats at No. 7 and bowls an over or two. You don’t need those guys anymore.”

The absence of genuine seam-bowling all-rounders, apart from Hardik Pandya, in the Indian T20 set-up points at the significance of nurturing all-rounders in the IPL. However, the Impact Player Rule does not necessarily encourage teams to prioritise the development of all-rounders. Instead, teams are inclined to use this rule tactically to bolster their batting or bowling strengths at specific junctures of the game, often sidelining the holistic development of all-rounders.

South African dasher and Gujarat Titans’ David Miller had shared similar thoughts during the last year’s IPL. “It takes away the impact of all-rounders, takes their role away. That’s my understanding, where you can take six or seven frontline batters or six frontline bowlers,” he had said.

Shivam Dube for CSK (Image: IPL)

Dube hasn’t bowled at all since joining CSK in 2023, Tewatia bowled just 13 deliveries in IPL 2023 and none in the ongoing tournament so far. Vijay Shankar, who played the 2019 World Cup as an all-rounder, hasn’t bowled a ball from the last edition of the IPL. Whereas gun T20 player like Washington Sundar is not getting game-time with the franchise preferring specialists for the role.

“If I talk about the CSK team, the sixth option itself was Moeen Ali. I come as the seventh option, so it’s only if it’s very much required. That is one thing because of the Impact Player Rule. I am trying to make myself better so that I can contribute one or two overs for the team,” Dube had told reporters at the end of the 2023 IPL.

This is exactly what former India opener Wasim Jaffer had pointed out in December 2023. “I think IPL needs to take away the Impact Player Rule, as it’s not encouraging the all-rounders to bowl much and lack of ARs and batters not bowling is a major area of concern for Indian cricket. Thoughts? #IPL2024 #iplauction2024,” Jaffer had tweeted.

Moreover, this rule has transformed the IPL into what can be perceived as a 12-a-side tournament, with teams leveraging impact substitutions to optimise their performance, especially in batting-heavy line-ups. The utilisation of foreign players like Jos Buttler as impact subs to replace bowlers further exemplifies the strategic shift brought about by this rule.

Notably, both of Buttler’s match-winning centuries in this year’s IPL came as an impact sub. While the rule has extended the careers of ageing players like Amit Mishra, Piyush Chawla, Mohit Sharma, among many others, it has halted the development of promising all-rounders. For instance, Nitish Kumar Reddy is a regular with the ball in domestic circuit but has been used sparingly with the ball by Sunrisers Hyderabad. Utility players like Rishi Dhawan, Mayank Dagar have been warming the bench whereas KKR’s Venkatesh Iyer hardly bowls in the IPL. Iyer bowls frequently for Madhya Pradesh but when it comes to the IPL, his inputs with the ball is close to nil.

Shreyas Iyer and Rinku Singh vs RCB (PC: X)

“Honestly, with the coming of impact players, the number of overs an all-rounder is bowling has dropped down drastically,” Iyer had said during the course of the 2023 IPL. “Obviously, if a team has a specialist bowler as their sixth bowler and they don’t want to try their all-rounder. This is what the Impact Player Rule has brought. It has lessened the utility of all-rounders.”

The rule potentially detracts from the traditional development pathway of players and could contribute to the dearth of quality all-rounders in Indian cricket. It also takes away the tactical nuances of the game, especially in a fast-paced format like T20 cricket, where the captains and think-tank now know that they have an extra batter or a bowler to help them bail out from a worrisome situation.

Recently, Irfan Pathan raised his concerns around the Impact Player Rule. “The Impact Player Rule is benefiting the entertainment part of cricket, which is high-scoring games,” Pathan told reporters. “But Indian cricket will have to think about it going forward as far as all-rounders are concerned.”

This current scenario with the Impact Player Rule presents a dual challenge for the Indian team; a shortage of dependable all-rounders like Pandya and a dearth of batters who can contribute with the ball, similar to Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, and the young Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. Since India’s 2011 World Cup victory, there has been a noticeable decline in multi-skilled players, exemplified by the phased exit of stalwarts like Yuvraj, Sehwag, Suresh Raina, and Yusuf Pathan.

The future implications of the Impact Player Rule on India’s talent pool and international competitiveness warrant careful consideration by the BCCI to preserve the development of players.

Also Read: In a tight contest, Bumrah was the difference

The post Is it time for BCCI to scrap Impact Player Rule? appeared first on Sports News Portal | Latest Sports Articles | Revsports.


[[{“value”:”The Impact Player Rule in the Indian Premier League has ignited serious debate, particularly surrounding its potential impact on the development of all-rounders in Indian cricket. The rule, which was…
The post Is it time for BCCI to scrap Impact Player Rule? appeared first on Sports News Portal | Latest Sports Articles | Revsports.”}]] 

Scroll to Top