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Why Rohit Sharma not okay with IPL ‘Impact Player’ rule

The veteran batters feels the rule, which came into force in 2023, is hurting prospects of India’s all-rounders such as Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube.

Mumbai Indians’ Rohit Sharma throws the ball during an Indian Premier League match in the 2024 edition. (Photo by INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Shubham Ghosh

INDIA captain Rohit Sharma is “not a big fan” of the Indian Premier League’s (IPL) ‘Impact Player’ rule as he feels it is hurting the country’s all-rounders by not allowing cricketers like Washington Sundar and Shivam Dube to showcase their bowling prowess.

The ‘Impact Player’ Rule, introduced in the 2023 season, allows all IPL teams to substitute a player — batter or bowler — during their respective innings as per the demands of the match.

But it has raised eyebrows given that someone like Dube has only been used as a power-hitter by his franchise Chennai Super Kings.

He hasn’t bowled his medium pacers despite being in contention for the seam bowling all-rounder’s place in the India set-up along with Mumbai Indians skipper Hardik Pandya.

Read: Rohit Sharma would love to play Pakistan in Tests

“I genuinely feel that it is going to hold back (development of India all-rounders),” Sharma, who plays for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, didn’t mince words while speaking to former international cricketers Michael Vaughan and Adam Gilchrist’s YouTube show ‘Club Prairie Fire’.

The ace opening batter explained at length why, for the sake of entertainment, development of players shouldn’t be forgotten.

Read: Rohit Sharma’s ‘cheerless’ IPL ton in vain as Chennai trump Mumbai

India, save Pandya, doesn’t have a genuine seam bowling all-rounder in contention for the T20 World Cup, although Dube’s name is being discussed for the finisher’s role.

“Eventually, cricket is played by 11 players not 12 players. I am not a big fan of ‘Impact Player’, you are taking out so much from the game just because of little bit of entertainment, for people around,” he pointed out. “…I can give you so many examples, guys like Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube are not getting to bowl. For us (Indian team), it is not a good thing you know. I don’t know what you can do about it but I am not a fan of it, frankly speaking,” he said.

“It is entertaining because there are 12 players, whoever the impact player is, you can change a player later seeing how the game goes, depending on how the pitch is behaving.

“If you bat well, don’t lose wickets, you can add another bowler, you have 6-7 bowlers and you don’t need an extra batter if teams are batting well upfront. You hardly see a no.7 or 8 coming in to bat,” he said.

During the conversation, Gilchrist pointed out that before the 2023 season, if a team batting first had a century-maker, they won the match 75 per cent of times, but with ‘Impact Sub’, that percentage has come down to 50.

The former Mumbai captain, who led the franchise to five IPL crowns but was replaced by Pandya this year, was ready with a stat of his own to drive home his point.

“They showed a stat that from 2008 to 2023, there were only two 250 plus scores and this year, there are four 250 plus scores already, so you can imagine,” he stated. “There are 7-8 batters (due to Impact Sub) and you realise that your No.6 or 7 bats only 7-8 balls,” he added.

(With PTI inputs)

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