From Impact Player to DRS for wides and no-balls: the new rules for IPL 2023 explained

Out of the box: The introduction of Impact Player will have the captains and coaches on their toes.

Out of the box: The introduction of Impact Player will have the captains and coaches on their toes.
| Photo Credit: Sportzpics/IPL 

Cricket is a game of many variables: luck at the toss, the pitch, dew factor and home advantage to name a few. But with a raft of changes, Indian Premier League 2023 looks set to sport a more controlled look, and potentially become more of a level-playing field. A look at a few of them:

What is the Impact Player innovation and how does it work?

At the toss, in addition to the playing XI, teams have to name five substitutes, one of whom can replace a player in the starting XI at any point during the match. The on-field umpire will signal the introduction by crossing his hands above his head. The replaced player can take no further part in the match, even as a substitute fielder. The innovation was first trialled in the 2022-23 Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, but the Impact Player had to be introduced before the 14th over of the innings.

Who can be the Impact Player?

An Indian, unless a team starts with three or fewer overseas players. This is to ensure that in any situation, a team can only use four foreign cricketers, a standard in place since IPL’s inception.

When can the Impact Player come in?

Before the start of an innings, at the end of an over, at the fall of a wicket or when a batter retires. However, if the bowling side introduces the Impact Player during an over — at the fall of a wicket or when a batter retires — he will not be allowed to bowl the remaining balls of the over.

Does the innovation mean 12 batters can bat?

No. A batting team can replace one of its dismissed/retired batters with the Impact Player but only 11 members can bat. One of the players who is yet to come in will not be able to bat.

How does it work for the bowling team?

When a bowling team brings in the Impact Player, he can bowl the full quota of four overs irrespective of the number of overs bowled by the replaced player. For example, a team can replace a PowerPlay specialist, who has bowled four overs upfront, with a death-overs specialist, who can also bowl four overs.

Can teams name their XIs after the toss?

This year, IPL will allow teams to finalise their XIs after the toss, with captains walking out with two different team sheets – one for batting first and the other for bowling. Alongside the Impact Player, this will significantly negate the role of all-rounders, feels Delhi Capitals Head Coach Ricky Ponting.

“You can name a batting or a bowling-heavy team and just take one out and bring the other in. I don’t see many teams use the guy who might bat at seven and bowl an over or two,” Ponting said.

What are the other changes?

Wide and no-ball decisions can be reviewed using the Decision Review System, though the number of unsuccessful appeals will remain capped at two. It is understood that the IPL will have an in-match over-rate penalty rule, where for every over not completed in the allocated time (90 minutes), there can only be four fielders outside the 30-yard circle, instead of five. However, allowances will be made for injuries, referrals and other circumstances beyond the control of the fielding side.

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