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IPL: 'Impact Player has made a big difference'

Source: PTI
May 14, 2024 16:48 IST
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IMAGE: Players like Punjab Kings' Ashutosh Sharma has been a big beneficiary of the Impact Player ruling in IPL 2024. Photograph: BCCI

The Impact Player rule might have come in for sharp criticism in IPL 2024, but former India coach Ravi Shastri and senior spinner Ravichandran Ashwin have backed it, stating that it leads to more close finishes.

The rule, implemented in the competition last season, has been a topic of debate this edition, with some experts and current players saying that it will make all-rounders redundant.


"When any new rule comes in, there will be people who will try to justify why that's not right," Shastri said.

"But with time, when you see the scores - 200 and 190 - and then, individuals grabbing that opportunity and making the most of it, people will start re-looking at how they think about it."

Shastri vouched for the rule, saying that the game has to evolve with time.

"The Impact Player (rule) is good. You have to evolve with the times. It happens in other sports as well. It's got tighter finishes," he said on Ashwin's YouTube channel.

"I think it's a good rule. You saw the number of tight finishes we had in last year's IPL. So, it has made a big difference."

BCCI secretary Jay Shah had recently said that the rule is not permanent.

"Impact Player is like a test case. We have implemented it slowly. The biggest advantage of it is that two Indian players are getting a chance (in each game), which is the most important," he told the media in Mumbai last week.

"We will consult with the players, franchises, broadcasters (and take a call). This is not permanent, (but) I am not saying that it will go.

"(We'll see) if it's making the game more competitive or not. Even then, if a player feels that this is not right, then we will talk to them. But no one has told us anything yet. So, it will be decided after the World Cup."

India skipper Rohit Sharma and Delhi Capitals' Axar Patel and Mukesh Kumar, also expressed their displeasure with the rule.

"I genuinely feel it is going to hold back the development of all-rounders because eventually cricket is played by 11 players, not 12," Rohit had said a couple of weeks back.

"So, I am not a big fan of the Impact Player rule because you are taking so much from the game just to make it a little more entertaining for the people around you."

Will ending Impact Player rule bring down high scores?

Delhi Capitals head coach and former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes high-scoring games will continue to be a norm in the IPL even if the much-debated 'Impact Player' rule is discontinued.

"...there is a talk if the impact player remains in the IPL, if it doesn't, will the scores come down again? I am interested to see that. I am not sure they will," the three-time World Cup winner said during the release of Delhi Capitals' batting coach Pravin Amre's autobiography 'Zero FOR 5: The Thrilling Cricket Journey of Pravin Amre' on Monday.

"Yes, the impact player does provide a bit of cushion for the guys at the top but I think the guys at the top are so used to going out and playing a certain way.

"I mean imagine trying to tell Jake Fraser-McGurk to play a different way or tell Travis Head to be a little bit defensive, that's just not going to happen," he explained.

This year, the 200-mark has been breached 36 times so far in the IPL, compared to the overall count of 37 the previous edition.

Ponting also spoke about the challenges that a coach faces while handling a franchise. He said the job is more difficult than coaching a national team.

"I think it is a lot more difficult being a coach of a franchise team because the different nationalities involved, a few Australian coaches, couple of Australian players, couple of South African players, we have New Zealanders, we have Nepalese part of our squad over the journey," he said.

"And the hardest part of coaching with the franchise is only getting the players together for a few days before the first game of the season, when you are trying to create culture around the team, you haven't got much time with the players.

"It's really hard to do that, it is also hard to make big skill changes in such a short period of time," he listed the difficulties of the job.

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