IPL version of Impact Player rule in SMAT, Asian Games participation approved

The IPL version of the much talked about Impact Player Rule will be used in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy (SMAT) beginning October 16. The Impact Player was introduced in SMAT last season but it had to be brought in by or before the 14th over and had to be named before the toss.

However, this will change from next season as like the IPL, teams will be allowed to name four substitutes besides the playing eleven before the toss. Out of the four substitutes, only one can be used as an Impact Player by either team.

The rule was approved at the BCCI Apex Council meeting in Mumbai on Friday.

“Both teams are allowed to use one Impact Player per match. It is, however, not compulsory,” read one of the guidelines on the rule.

Impact Player was used widely by the 10 IPL teams but the introduction of it divided opinions.

Australian captain Ricky Ponting and Delhi Capitals head coach had said that it almost negated the role of an all-rounder in the side. “It actually almost negates the role of allrounders in the game now. So unless they’re absolutely world-class and they’re getting picked either as a batsman or as a bowler, not sort of a bits and pieces guy, then I don’t think you’ll see many, many teams this year actually use the guy that might bat at seven and maybe bowling over or two. Because you don’t need those guys anymore,” Ponting had said.

Asian Games participation approved

The Apex Council also approved the participation of men and women teams for the Asian Games in Hangzhou in September-October.

A second string Indian will participate in the men’s competition beginning September 28 while a full-strength side will be picked for the women’s event beginning September 19.

Cricket has been played only thrice in Asian Games history and the last time it held in Incheon in 2014 when India did not take part.

The competition coincides with crucial time for men’s team with India hosting the ODI World Cup from October 5.

In a note, BCCI said considering the crowded international schedule, it will be a challenge to field a team at Asian Games but contributing to the national cause is also important. India will be favourites to win gold both in men and women category.

“Through effective planning, communication and co-ordination, the BCCI aims to navigate those challenges successfully and contribute to the national cause by fielding a team in both men’s and women’s category in line with the Government of India’s directions,” the board said.

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