The Indian Premier League is set to begin on 31 March 2023. The 16th edition of the tournament will bring about some major changes in the playing conditions, set by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and by the International  Cricket Council (ICC). The ardent fans of the game have already seen these rules either in international, domestic, or franchise tournaments, but it will be a different ball-game all together when they come into practice in one of the most pressure tournaments in the world – the Indian Premier League.

The IPL have introduced two of the biggest changes in the tournament, first, the Impact Player Rule and second, the ability to review No ball and Wide ball calls by the batting and the fielding sides. Arguments have been made about the hindrance DRS reviews would cause to the flow of the game, but as per a section of cricket fans, this should make the game fairer.

Impact Player Rule  

Imported from the Australian Big Bash League and tried and tested in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, the ‘Impact Player Rule’ might turn out to be game-changer in the IPL 2023 season. According to the Law, teams can change one player in the middle of the game to suit the conditions of the match and the ground better to their favour.

The Impact Player can be introduced at any of the following stages:

Before the start of the innings

After an over finishes

At the fall of a wicket or if a batter retires

In between an over


Teams are only allowed to play with 4 overseas players,  and a non-Indian player will not be allowed to replace an Indian player if the team already has 4 overseas players in their playing XI. The teams can however choose to field 3 overseas players in their original XI and then draft in one overseas player later on in the game.

Critics have argued that the Impact Player Rule will reduce the reliance on world-class all-rounders because one can always substitute a batter for a specialist bowler in the second innings of the game. But Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma does not think so.

“I don’t know whether it will impact an all-rounder, an all-rounder will always be an all-rounder. He will give you an option of bowling him anytime and making him bat anytime. Yes, with that 12th player, you can always fill that gap of having a 5th bowler or an extra batter. But you still want to put your best players on the park. There may be a slight difference to it but I don’t think it’s going to impact so much in terms of having an all-rounder. Like I said, we will see what the other teams do and try and learn from it as well, ” Sharma said ahead of the IPL in a Mumbai Indians press conference.

No Team Sheets at Toss 

Captains do not need to give out team sheets at the toss any longer. The teams now can nullify the toss advantage by drafting in the teams as per the result of the toss. They are allowed to file XI players with 5 substitutes; out of the 5 substitutes, they are allowed to choose one player as an impact sub during the game.

Experts have argued that this will allow the teams to make 2 separate playing XIs, one of which they will choose dependent on the result of the toss.

DRS Calls 

Players now are allowed to challenge wide balls and no balls, called by the onfield umpires. This was seen in full effect during the Women’s Premier League where BCCI used the technology for the first time.

Teams reviewed tight calls during the death overs of the innings, when things went down to the wire. For that matter Mumbai Indians’ pacer Izzy Wong got two of her rank full tosses reviewed in the final of the Women’s Premier League game.

The ICC Playing Conditions Changes 

ICC made several changes in playing conditions in September 2022, which have already come in effect. One of the biggest changes was actually not a law change per se, but a clarification to de-stigmatise the non striker’s run out, also known as Mankading.

“The Playing Conditions follow the Laws in moving this method of effecting a Run out from the ‘Unfair Play’ section to the ‘Run out’ section,” ICC wrote in a press release.

In the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League,  one will get to see the following (major) changes:

When a batter is out Caught, the new batter will come in at the end the striker was, regardless of whether the batters crossed prior to the catch being taken.

Saliva will not be used to polish the cricket ball.

Any unfair and deliberate movement from the fielding side (including keeper) while the bowler is running in to bowl could now result in the umpire awarding five penalty runs to the batting side, in addition to a call of Dead ball.

Match officials will award penalties to teams who do not complete their overs inside the stipulated time. In case of slow over rate, teams will only be allowed four players outside the 30-yard circle, till they catch up to the required number of overs inside the allocated time.

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