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“It Has Made A Big Difference”: Ravi Shastri Backs Impact Player Rule

Former India coach Ravi Shastri supported the Impact Player rule in the IPL, citing how it has led to exciting endings. However, several current players and coaches disagree. The Impact Player rule has been a hot topic of debate during the IPL 2024 and Shastri said the rule has contributed to many compelling finishes in the ongoing IPL edition. The rule allows a particular team to introduce a 12th player to the team from a list in which the five names are given at the time of a toss. A team can bring in a player for the playing XI by replacing any player the team wants, depending on the situation.

“The Impact Player [rule] is good. You have to evolve with the times. You know, it happens in other sports as well. It’s got tighter finishes. You have to evolve with the times and I think it’s a good rule. You saw the number of tight finishes we had in last year’s IPL. So, you know, it has made a big difference,” Shastri told Ravichandran Ashwin on his YouTube channel.

“You know when any new rule comes in, there will be…people will try and justify why that’s not right. But in time when you see the scores – 200 and 190 – and then like you mentioned individuals grabbing that opportunity and making the most of it, people will start re-looking at how they think about it,” Shastri said.

Meanwhile, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) secretary Jay Shah refused to commit to the continuation of the Impact Player rule in the Indian Premier League (IPL), saying it would be decided after consulting with captains and coaches.

However, he emphasised the importance of the rule, which permits two additional Indian players to be included in an IPL team’s XI. The Impact Player rule has been a hot topic of debate during the IPL 2024 and the BCCI Secretary 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. 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,” Shah told reporters at the BCCI headquarters in Mumbai.

The Impact Player rule has been cited as one of the primary causes for the enormous scores recorded in the IPL 2024. India captain Rohit Sharma was the first high-profile player to criticise the rule, stating that the rule has hampered the development of all-rounders in the country.

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

However, DC head coach Ricky Ponting stated that he was fine with the IPL retaining the Impact Player provided it made the competition a “better spectacle”. However, as a coach, he confessed that he didn’t like the rule and called it a “nightmare”.

On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) fast bowler Mitchell Starc also stated that the Impact Player rule had contributed to bowlers’ poor performance in the ongoing IPL 2024 season.

“The Impact Player rule changes things a fair bit. Everyone gets to bat a lot deeper having a batting and a bowling XI. There’s a lot made of that rule throughout the tournament and there’s been a lot of high scores, which is the nature of the wickets and the grounds we play on here. When you have batters and batting allrounders come in at Nos. 8 or 9, it’s a long batting line-up,” Starc, who has conceded runs at 11.37 so far, had said.

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