IPL 2023 – BCCI mulls introducing tactical substitutes

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Tactical substitutions could make an appearance in IPL 2023, with the BCCI looking to introduce the concept that it trialled for the first time during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy domestic T20s in October-November.

“Also note that from IPL 2023 Season a tactical/strategic concept will be introduced to add a new dimension to IPL, wherein one substitute player per team will be able to take a more active part in an IPL match,” the BCCI said in a note sent to the IPL franchises on Thursday. “The regulations pertaining to the same will be issued shortly.”

It is not known whether the tactical-substitute system planned for the IPL would be similar to the Impact Player rule that was in play during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. If it is, it will offer teams a great deal of tactical flexibility.

During the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, teams named four substitutes in their team sheet at the toss, and were allowed to use one of them as their Impact Player. The Impact Player could replace any member of the starting XI at any point before the end of the 14th over of either innings, and was allowed to bat and bowl his full allotment of overs.

The tactical scope of the system was vast, with no real restriction on the role the substitute played. The Impact Player could replace a batter who had already been dismissed, and still get to bat – as long as the team only used 11 batters in total. Or he could replace a bowler who had already sent down a few overs, and still get to bowl his full four-over quota.

The Impact Player rule offers greater tactical scope than other substitution systems that have been in play in other major tournaments.

In the Supersub system that was in place in ODIs in 2005 and 2006, the substitute’s role coincided with that of the player he replaced, which meant he could not bat if the original player was already dismissed, and could only bowl the remaining overs from the replaced player’s quota.

The X-Factor rule, which is in place in the BBL in Australia, allows teams to substitute a member of their starting XI at the halfway point – the ten-over mark in a full T20 game – of the first innings, and the player replaced cannot have already batted, or bowled more than one over.

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