There was a little bit of surprise when both Kolkata Knight Riders and Punjab Kings named an overseas player in the list of substitutes despite having four overseas players in the playing XI.

As per the playing conditions issued by the league, neither Matthew Short nor David Wiese can be used as Impact Player. Because, the Impact Player can only be an Indian player unless there are less than 4 overseas players in the Playing XI.

So, assuming the franchises were aware of this, why did they use up one of the five substitute spots with an overseas slot?

That is because, to even be a substitute fielder for a match, the player has to named in the XI plus five subs list. The easiest way to understand is that: a) the list of subs named after the toss is NOT a list of Impact Players. It is just a list of subs. b) At no point in the match there can be five overseas players as part of the proceedings.

The relevant rules for the substitute fielders from the main playing conditions are below:

1.2 Nomination and replacement of players


1.2.2: Only those nominated as substitute fielders shall be entitled to act as substitute fielders during the match (subject to clause 1.2.6), unless the IPL Match Referee, in exceptional circumstances, allows subsequent additions.


1.2.5 Each team may not name more than 4 Overseas players (as defined in the IPL Player Regulations) in its starting eleven for any match. 

1.2.6 A team may not have more than 4 Overseas players on the field of play at any time during any Match. Thus, if the team names the maximum 4 Overseas players in its starting XI, an Overseas player may only take the field as a substitute fielder if the player that he is replacing is an Overseas player. If the team names less than 4 Overseas players in its starting XI, Overseas players may only enter the field of play as substitute fielders to the extent that by doing so, they do not take the total number of Overseas players representing that team on the field to more than 4.

So, with the example of match No 2, Short can be a substitute fielder if any of Punjab’s four overseas players need a break. Short CANNOT be an Impact Player.

PBKS brought in Rishi Dhawan for Bhanuka Rajapaksa while KKR used Venkatesh Iyer for Varun Chakravarthy as their Impact Players respectively.

Punjab Kings 

First XI: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Prabhsimran Singh, Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sikandar Raza, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Shahrukh Khan, Sam Curran, Nathan Ellis, Harpreet Brar, Rahul Chahar, Arshdeep Singh

Subs: Rishi Dhawan, Atharva Taide, Matt Short, Harpreet Bhatia and Mohit Rathee.

Kolkata Knight Riders

First XI: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Mandeep Singh, Nitish Rana (c), Rinku Singh, Andre Russell, Shardul Thakur, Sunil Narine, Tim Southee, Anukul Roy, Umesh Yadav, Varun Chakravarthy

Subs: Suyash Sharma, Vaibhav Arora, N Jagadeesan, Venkatesh Iyer and David Wiese