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IPL 2024

Rohit Sharma ‘not a big fan of Impact Player’ rule

Rohit Sharma on Impact player rule
by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

India captain Rohit Sharma has expressed his concerns regarding the Impact Player rule being used in the IPL.

The Impact Player rule, in place in the IPL since last year, allows teams to replace a cricketer from the first XI with another at any point during the match. It was started as an experiment in a bid to make the game more entertaining for the viewers, but has had several implications over the course of two seasons, including but not limited to increasing scoring rates and decreasing the demand for all-rounders.

Rohit recently talked about the Impact Player on the Club Prairie Fire podcast, and admitted to not being a big fan of the rule: “I generally feel that it is going to hold back [development of all-rounders] because eventually cricket is played by 11 players, not 12 players. I’m not a big fan of impact player. You are taking out so much from the game just to make it little entertainment for the people around.

“But if you look [at] genuinely just cricketing aspect of it, I can give you so many examples, guys like Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube are not getting to bowl, which, for us [India team] is not a good thing.”

The Impact Player rule has not been adopted at the international level yet. With the T20 World Cup scheduled to start a week after IPL 2024, the Indian team management and selectors are currently scratching heads regarding various positions in the team, including those of all-rounders.

Dube, who Rohit talked about, has emerged as a strong contender for a middle-order slot. However, he has not bowled at all in IPL 2024 and has seldom fielded, as he has regularly been substituted after batting.

Reiterating his dislike for the Impact Player, Rohit explained how teams generally use it: “I don’t know what you can do about it, but I’m not a fan of it honestly speaking. Because there’s obviously 12 players for you to select from and whoever that impact player is, you can see how the game is going and change it later depending on what you need, what pitch is behaving.

“If you bat well, if you don’t lose wickets, you can add another bowler so it gives you an option of having six or seven bowlers. You don’t need that extra batter because a lot of the teams actually upfront are batting well, and then you hardly see Nos. 7 or 8 coming to bat.”

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