The impact player rule in IPL got introduced in the 2023 edition of the T20 event. This new feature adds excitement to the already thrilling T20 format wherein one of the four players chosen as substitutes can replace one player from the playing XI. This replacement can take place before the start of an innings, at the end of an over, at the fall of a wicket and when a batter retires. The impact player cannot be brought in in the middle of an over and cannot complete an ongoing over. The player who is replaced by the impact player can no longer be a part of the match.
Ever since it’s inception, one of the rules of IPL is to name no more than four overseas players in the playing XI. In case there are four overseas players named in the playing XI, an impact player cannot be an overseas player unless and until the swapped player himself or herself is an overseas player. By no means at any stage in the match should the number of overseas players in the playing XI increase to more than four.
It is not mandatory to use the impact player rule. Each side can use this rule once in the match. The impact player cannot captain the side when brought in. If an impact player is a bowler, then that player can bowl the full quota of four overs. If the impact player is a batter, there is no compulsion that that player has to bat at the same position of the batter who is replaced.
In case the impact player gets injured, then only after the umpire’s consent can a substitute player replace the impact player. However, this substitute player cannot bowl or act as captain. If the match is reduced to less than 10 overs per side, then the impact player rule cannot be used. The impact player rule will be seen in effect from the 16th edition of the IPL.