Indian cricket captain Rohit Sharma recently voiced his reservations about the ‘Impact Player’ rule integrated into the Indian Premier League (IPL), initiated during the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament of the 2022-23 season. During a discussion on the Club Prairie Fire Podcast, which also featured cricket legends Adam Gilchrist and Michael Vaughan, Rohit shared his unease about the rule’s potential negative effects on the development of all-rounders within the team.

Rohit argued that the conventional structure of cricket, involving 11 players, is being unnecessarily complicated by introducing a twelfth ‘impact’ player. “I generally feel that it is going to hold back [allrounders] because eventually, cricket is played by 11 players, not 12,” Rohit stated. He explained that incorporating an additional player primarily for strategic interventions detracts from the traditional essence and competitive spirit of the game.

Highlighting real-life implications of this new rule on team members, Rohit discussed the reduced opportunities for players like Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube, who have been unable to showcase their bowling skills adequately. “Guys like Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube are not getting to bowl, which for us [India team] is not a good thing,” he noted, emphasizing the rule’s interference with player roles and responsibilities.

The timing of Rohit’s comments is critical as they precede the T20 World Cup, with India’s team selection on the horizon. The challenge for the team is to strike the right balance, particularly because the top-order batters possess limited bowling capabilities. Rohit is hopeful for Hardik Pandya’s return to form as a seam-bowling all-rounder and depends similarly on Ravindra Jadeja for spin.

Rohit also brought into focus Shivam Dube’s recent performances. In India’s last T20I series before the IPL, Dube captured two wickets across seven overs and scored 124 runs at an impressive strike-rate of 158.97. Despite continuing his strong performance with the bat for Chennai Super Kings, the ‘Impact Substitute’ rule has limited his opportunities to bowl. A similar fate has befallen Sundar at Sunrisers Hyderabad, who has bowled only three overs across six games.

The ‘Impact Player’ rule, Rohit fears, might jeopardize Dube’s selection for the upcoming World Cup despite his exceptional capabilities, particularly on the spin-friendly Caribbean pitches. Regarding the future of the IPL and this contentious rule, Rohit lacked optimism about potential improvements or amendments. “I don’t know what you can do about it, but I’m not a fan of it [the rule], honestly speaking,” he confessed.

Rohit elaborated on the tactical adjustments allowed by the rule, such as substituting a player based on the game’s progression and pitch conditions. “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,” he explained.

Despite these tactical possibilities, Rohit maintained a firm stance against the rule, advocating for the integrity of the game’s traditional 11-player format. His concerns reflect broader apprehensions within the cricket community, debating whether such innovations enhance the sport or undermine its fundamental values. As this rule continues to stir discussions and possibly influence upcoming major tournaments, stakeholders from across the cricketing fraternity will be watching closely, gauging its impacts and potential adjustments in the future.

By IPL Agent

💲Daily Check-In Free Bonus💲 💵 Sign Up & Login everyday to get free cash!💵 👉