Shastri bats for Impact Player Rule

Left: Ravi Shastri, Right: Impact Player Rule. Source: X

The Impact Player Rule in the IPL has divided opinion, but Ravi Shastri, former India coach, has thrown his weight behind it.

“The Impact Player (Rule) is good,” Shastri told Ravichandran Ashwin on the latter’s YouTube channel. “You have to evolve with the times. You know, it happens in other sports as well. It’s got (us) 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.”

A lot of players and coaches, including India captain Rohit Sharma, are not fans of the rule, which allows a 12th player from a list of five to come into the game. There’s a school of thought that the rule, which was introduced in the IPL last year, has been hampering the development of Indian all-rounders. But Shastri chose to count the positives.

“You know when any new rule comes in, there will be (reservations),” he said. “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.”

Dhruv Jurel is a case in point, who started off as an Impact Player before cementing his place in the Rajasthan Royals team. Jurel went on to play for India in Tests as well.

Rohit, however, is not a backer of the Impact Player Rule as he had said: “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.”

Mitchell Starc, Australia and Kolkata Knight Riders quick, too has spoken about the rule negatively impacting the performance of the bowlers.

The BCCI, meanwhile, is keeping its options open. Last week, board secretary Jay Shah told reporters how the rule has been a “test case” and a decision regarding its future would be taken after discussions with the players and franchises.

“Impact Player is like a test case,” Shah had said. “We have implemented it slowly. The biggest advantage of it is that two Indian players are getting a chance, which is the most important. We will consult with the players, franchises, broadcasters (and will take a call). This is not permanent, but I am not saying that it will go.”