‘Impact Player rule produces only…’: Zaheer Khan raises serious concerns | Cricket News

NEW DELHI: In line with India captain Rohit Sharma‘s sentiments, former pacer Zaheer Khan voiced significant apprehensions on Thursday regarding the ‘Impact Player’ rule in the IPL, stating that it tends to cultivate “half-baked all-rounders.”
Introduced during the 2023 season, the ‘Impact Player’ rule permits all IPL teams to substitute a player, whether a batsman or a bowler, during the innings.
Experts contend that the concept undermines the essence of an all-rounder. For instance, Shivam Dube, primarily utilized as a power-hitter by his franchise Chennai Super Kings, also possesses skills as a medium pacer.
Despite being a contender for the seam bowling all-rounder’s role in the India set-up for the T20 World Cup, he has had limited opportunities to demonstrate his bowling prowess.
“I completely agree it’s debatable, little concern for sure. But we need to find a way on how to deal with it. In Impact Player rule you will find half all-rounders but not not a complete one,” Zaheer said in an online interaction facilitated by JioCinema.
Zaheer, a key figure in India’s victorious 2011 ODI World Cup campaign at home, advocates for the inclusion of Mohammed Siraj alongside pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah in the T20 World Cup squad.
Siraj’s form in this IPL has been a point worry for Royal Challengers Bengaluru as he has just snapped four wickets in six innings, with a strike rate of 33.00 and at an economy of 10.41.
Besides Siraj, Zaheer also feels left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh should also be a part of the squad.
“The team selection is still two weeks away but Arshdeep is a serious hopeful and the selectors are looking at him. Khaleel Ahmed, Mohsin Khan and Yash Dayal will also be closely watched,” the 45-year-old left-arm former pacer said.
“Siraj has been doing very well but at times it’s about the format. But he is potent enough to make a comeback. It’s all about finding the zone again and I think he should be part of the T20 World Cup squad,” he added.
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“I am happy with his (Rishabh Pant’s) progress. I was not confident how he will fare after such a long break ahead of the IPL. But in the last 6-7 matches his progress, his leadership, skills and wicket-keeping succeeded in all aspects.”
Mumbai Indians new skipper Hardik Pandya has been facing a lot of flak from the team’s fan base this season after replacing Rohit Sharma.
Under his leadership, the team’s performance has been shaky too but Zaheer said the best way to answer the critics is through his game.
“This is just a different aspect of franchise cricket. 17 years ago when IPL started we never knew how it will be treated or received but now fans have become loyal to franchises. Franchise cricket is evolving. There is no better way to deal with this than let your game speak,” he said.
(With PTI inputs)

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