The possibility of playing 13 players in an 11-player cricket game makes the Impact Player rule less impactful in IPL 2023.
It’s been almost a week since the start of IPL 2023, and the talk about the town has been the all-new Impact player rule. In the form of an experiment, the BCCI decided to implement the impact player rule for IPL 2023 to make the game more exciting. But what exactly is the Impact player rule, and how has been the outcome so far? Well, let’s review about the same in this article.
What is an Impact Player Rule?
Well, Impact Player in simple terms is something where teams are allowed to bring in an additional player at any point in the game in place of a player that is already a part of the playing 11. So, the batting team can bring in an additional batter to strengthen the batting. Whereas the bowling team can bring in an additional bowler to strengthen the bowling.
The way teams are implementing this in IPL 2023 is the major talk of the town. For example, the team batting first is playing with an extra batter; one of whom will be replaced by a bowler in the second innings. Whereas the bowling team is playing an additional bowler; one of whom will be replaced by a batter in the second innings.
Almost every team is utilizing the freedom of playing with an extra batter and bowler in their playing 11. It feels as if teams are playing with 13 players instead of 11 with the freedom to choose one of the two additional players based on the match situation. But is the Impact Player rule really the good for the game?
How is the Impact Player Rule Impacting the Game?
If we talk about the essence of the game, it is the core of 11 players that have been playing the game for decades now. But what Impact player does is, it doesn’t value the 11 players that are playing on the field, and instead brings in an additional player who is supposed to play a role that the existing playing 11 is set to be missing.
It is understandable that a team is composed of players with varied skill sets divided into primary categories like batters, spinners, pacers, wicket-keepers, and all-rounders. So, the additional Impact player who replaces the player in the playing 11 is mostly to fulfil the gap. But that is where the role of all-rounders comes into the picture.
Less Role of All-rounders?
All-rounders is the category of players that can give you good runs with the bat and bowl those crucial overs, when needed. But the Impact Player rule has kind of limited the role of all-rounders in IPL 2023 as Captains are tending to prefer the specialists players over all-rounders.
Take the teams like KKR, RCB, and Delhi Capitals for example. Ideally, the likes of Andre Russell, Venkatesh Iyer, Riyan Parag, Vijay Shankar, Glenn Maxwell, Mitchell Marsh, etc., would bowl 2-3 overs every game. But, with the Impact Player rule, Captains are preferring specialist players over these all-rounders to complete the 20 overs quota.
The rule is simply giving less importance to all-rounders, who are a valuable asset in any format of the game. Importantly, the Indian Premier League is designed to promote Indian players. If we start playing specialist Indian bowlers and batters in place of giving all-rounders a chance, we should soon see the death of dual role players with everyone wanting to become an expert in either batting or bowling.
However, of all the disadvantages, the only advantage the Impact Player rule is bringing is giving teams an equal platform to compete. For example, Mumbai Indians have a weak playing 11 on paper for IPL 2023 as they lack proper all-rounders. But, with this rule, they don’t have to rely upon all-rounders, an instead play an additional batter and bowler in both their innings.
It’s just a week into seeing the actual implementation of this rule, but it is slightly frustrating. Hopefully, the next months make things clearer in terms of where this rule is headed. It may bring some excitement and competitiveness in the game, but indirectly we are killing the essence of the game, and making all-rounders less effective on the field.
The fact that the implementation of this rule is only limited to domestic tournaments, and not to International cricket is a worrying sign. The Indian team and players are expected to suffer the most because of this rule. While it does make the game more competitive and exciting, we are losing out on the essence of playing the game of cricket with 11 players.
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