What is an Impact Player in the Indian Premier League (IPL)?

In the first match of IPL 2023, Tushar Deshpande of Chennai Super Kings made history by becoming the first impact player ever in the tournament. Deshpande took over from Ambati Rayudu before the Gujarat Titans’ innings.

On the same day, Sai Sudarshan replaced Kane Williamson for the Gujarat Titans as the second Impact Player during the opening match. Williamson sustained an injury during the first innings.

As per the new regulation, the captain will carry two team sheets to the toss. Instead of sharing the sheets prior to the toss, the captains will decide which sheet they prefer after the toss is completed. This will enable them to select their team based on whether they are going to bat or bowl first. Furthermore, the captain can now nominate five substitute players instead of just one 12th man as earlier. One of these five substitutes will be designated as the Impact Player and will have the opportunity to participate in the game.

Impact players in IPL are similar to substitutes, as they allow teams to adjust their tactics during the game. However, unlike other sports, only one impact player is permitted in IPL, and if an impact player is substituted in, the player they replace cannot participate in the game any further. 

The team captains must designate a starting XI and five substitutes, with only one allowed to be used as an impact player after the toss. Additionally, if a team already has four international players in the starting XI, the impact player cannot be an international player. A non-Indian impact player can only be added to the team if the starting XI has fewer than four international players.