The concept of player substitutions during an Indian Premier League match could be floated during Wednesday’s governing council meeting in Mumbai but the final call rests with Board of Control for Cricket in India president Sourav Ganguly.
A senior executive of the IPL operations team prepared a note few months ago with an intention to do away with traditional playing XI. According to the note, a Power Player concept could be used, allowing a player, who is not a part of playing XI, to come in at the fall of a wicket or replace a bowler at any given point of time.
“The final call will rest with the BCCI president. He will certainly discuss with the IPL GC including chairman Brijesh Patel and other office bearers but a lot of factors needs to be taken into account,” a senior BCCI functionary was quoted as saying by PTI.
While Ganguly didn’t comment on the matter, an official close to the president said that there is a lot of scepticism to introduce this concept, which could basically change the grammar of cricket.
“Nothing has been decided yet. Also with four days left for the Mushtaq Ali Trophy to begin, can this concept see light of the day as yet? We don’t know,” the official said.
A section among IPL operations team wants to push the envelope and introduce the concept during Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (National T20 Tournament) starting on November 9 but there is a section in the BCCI that believes it could specifically favour one particular high-profile franchise comprising of veteran players.
“There is one particular team which needs a bit of cushion during 2020 IPL with the average age of its core players being 35 plus. Has the IPL operations guy, who prepared the concept note, kept that particular franchise in mind?” questioned another official.
The other question that has cropped up is how the anti-corruption unit will be able to handle the bookie-fixer menace in case of such a rule change?
“These kind of random player substitutions could mean that bookies and match fixers will be working overtime. Guess the BCCI president will factor it in that also,” he said.