Impact player to be Indian unless teams pick three overseas in their IPL 2023 XI: Reports

The BCCI looks set to formally adopt the Impact Player substitution rule after conveying the regulation framework to all IPL franchises. 
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The Impact Player rule set to be employed during the next edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will involve only Indians unless a team fields three, not four, overseas players in their playing unit, the BCCI has confirmed. 

Accessed by Cricbuzz, the set of regulations pertaining to the 'impact player' sent to all IPL franchises by the Indian board reads, an "Impact Player can only be Indian player unless there are less than 4 overseas players in the Playing XI."

To ensure the rule has maximum impact on Indian players, the BCCI will keep it limited to the Indians alone, not allowing teams to use an overseas pick as their impact player unless they select, in rarest of rare cases, only three players from abroad in their respective playing XIs. 

"Only an overseas player who is part of 4 substitutes named in the team sheet can be used as an Impact Player. If a team introduces an overseas player as an Impact Player in a match, in no circumstance can a 5th overseas player take the field," reads the BCCI note, as reported by Cricbuzz. 

Impact player to be Indian only 

It being improbable that any of the IPL franchises will risk taking the field with only three overseas picks, highly likely that the 'Impact Player' rule would be limited to the Indians alone. The franchises may have anticipated having the chance to field a fifth overseas player in the form of a tactical substitute to paper over their combination issues. 

But to ensure a level-playing field and to maximise Indian involvement on the field, the BCCI has focused on ensuring teams can't extend their overseas participation and be encouraged to refine their Indian playing depth. 

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The 'Impact Player' will be nominated by the captain. The substituted individual can be introduced to the opposition at the start of the innings or after the completion of an over. Or, as the note states, "at the fall of the wicket or the batter retiring at any time during the over" in case of a batter. 

Bowling sides will also have an impact player available to them but he can be put to use only after the completion of an over, not to fulfill the remaining balls of an over. 

The Impact Player can't be the captain of the side, a condition that BCCI explained thus: "In case of Impact Player used by a team, and if an injury occurs, the same rule will apply as they currently do under playing condition (refer Rule 24. Fielder's Absence; Substitutes)."

"If umpires are satisfied that a fielder has been injured or becomes ill during the match, a substitute fielder is allowed to field in place of an injured player."

"The substitute shall not bowl or act as captain. Penalty time for the batting and fielding teams will apply to the player off the field for the substitute as per the playing conditions," the board added. 

As reported earlier, the impact player will be one of the four potential substitutes a team will select and inform the match referee about before the toss takes place. Only one of these can be involved in the contest from either side. The impact player, however, is only a choice and not mandatory to be used.