Chennai Super Kings’ pacer Tushar Deshpande became the first Impact Player substitute in the league’s history as he came on as a second half substitute in the IPL 2023 season-opener against Gujarat Titans on Friday in Ahmedabad.

The bowler replaced Ambati Rayudu during the mid-match break after CSK’s batting innings concluded.

Gujarat Titans had not yet named an Impact Player originally when Kane Williamson got injured on the boundary rope while fielding. But once the first wicket fell in GT’s innings, B Sai Sudharsan came on for the New Zealand skipper, who looks set to be sidelined for a while after limping off the field.

The Impact Player can be used in the following manner: 

The Captain will nominate the Impact Player to the umpire and the umpire will signal in the manner stated in Schedule 1 indicating that the Impact Player is being introduced. The Impact Player can be introduced (i) before the start of the innings; or (ii) after completion of an over; or (iii) in case of a batter, at the fall of the wicket or the batter retiring at any time during the over (as provided in Clause 1.8 (iv) below). The bowling team can also get an Impact Player during the fall of the wicket, but that Impact Player will not be permitted to bowl the remaining balls in that over if the wicket has fallen mid over.

— via iplt20

Eventually, Deshpande struggled to make an impact during his spell. He went for 51 runs in 3.1 overs, going at the most expensive economy rate on the night among both sides. Sai Sudharsan fared better, scoring a handy 22 off 17 balls at No 3 for Titans.

The sixteenth edition of the IPL has introduced the new rule to bring in an Impact Player, effectively a substitute.

In a bid to add another strategic dimension to the game, the impact player rule was introduced in this edition in order to enable teams to utilise an additional specialist batter or bowler as needed throughout a game.

Impact player at IPL 2023: All you need to know about the new rule in Indian Premier League

This regulation will effectively change the playing circumstances to allow captains to pick their playing eleven following the toss, effectively making matches 12 vs 12 (although only 11 can bat).

While Chennai Super Kings had named five potential substitutes in B Sai Sudharsan, Jayant Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Abhinav Manohar and KS Bharat, Gujarat Titans had named Tushar Deshpande, Subhranshu Senapati, Shaik Rasheed, Ajinkya Rahane, Nishant Sindhu among their options.

Talking about the new impact player rule, MS Dhoni at the toss said, “It’s a luxury to have the impact player rule. It becomes slightly easy to take the decision because you can use it at any time. Influence of the allrounder has become slightly less because of the rule.”