Former India wicketkeeper-batter and ex-member of the senior selection committee Saba Karim believes the impact player rule, to be introduced in domestic cricket by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), has the potential to throw up interesting possibilities which teams can cash upon in a particular match.
The BCCI is all set to introduce the Impact Player rule in the upcoming season through the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the men's domestic T20 tournament, which is scheduled to begin from October 11.As per the rules, each team will name four substitutes in the team sheets during the toss, and only one of them can be used as an Impact Player during the match. Both teams can use only one Impact Player and the move itself isn't mandatory.
If a team wishes to introduce an impact player, which is before the 14th over of an innings, the captain, the head coach or the manager has to notify the on-field or the fourth umpire about the same before the end of the current over.
"I feel it's quite simple. Although the impact player rule being included in the 11. But I think it has more to do with the situation and condition. So, I sincerely feel that will throw up interesting possibilities of which the teams can really do well to take some advantage in a particular game," said Karim on 'Sports Over The Top' show on Sports18.
For a batting team, it can introduce an Impact Player at the fall of a wicket or during the innings break. After the introduction of an Impact Player in a match, the player can bat and may bowl his full quota of four overs in an uninterrupted innings.
The player whom the Impact Player replaces can no longer be part of the match. In case a player retires 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.
"You're talking about strategies, you're talking about tactics, all that will come into play. And the fact remains that you can bring a substitute by the end of the 14th over. So, the captain needs to be very flexible, they need some more inputs from the coaching staff. So, all that one can see in the coming domestic tournament," added Karim.
The rule has the potential to reduce the impact of the toss. For example, if a team loses the toss and has to bowl second when the dew sets in, it has the opportunity to strengthen its bowling attack for that challenge. Similarly, on a pitch that is turning square, the team batting second could boost its batting with an extra batter.
The ruling will also help teams offset the impact of a player picking up an injury during the game.If the scheduled number of overs per innings is more than ten, the Impact Player can be introduced, with a sliding cut-off point.
For example, in a 17-overs-a-side game, the Impact Player can come on before the end of the 13th over of either inning. In an 11-overs-a-side game, he can enter before the end of the ninth over.If the match begins as a full T20 game, and if the side batting first has faced at least ten overs when there is an interruption in play, both teams will be able to use an Impact Player regardless of the extent of reduction of overs.
If the match is reduced such that one team has already used its Impact Player, but the second innings is reduced to less than ten overs, the second team can still use its Impact Player -- before the end of the seventh over in a nine-over innings, for example, or before the end of the third over in a five-over innings.