The sixteenth edition of the TATA Indian Premier League (IPL) begins today (March 31, Friday) in its original home-and-away format. Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) will kickstart their quest for a third title with an away clash against Punjab Kings on April 1, Saturday.

Unlike the previous editions, TATA IPL 2023 is all set to witness a host of new rules that have been introduced to adda new strategic dimension to the tournament.Let’s take a look at them:

1.IMPACT PLAYER RULE: This rule, first implemented by the BCCI in last year’s Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, allows teams to bring on an ‘Impact Player’ as a football-like substitute during a game who can be introduced before the start of an innings, after an over is completed, and after the fall of a wicket or a batter retiring hurt. The Impact Player has to be one of the five substitutes named by the captain after the toss.

The rule, however, is not a compulsory one. It should also be noted that if a team has already named four overseas players in the starting XI, it can introduce only an Indian as the Impact Player. The Impact Player can either be a batter or a bowler, but he can’t act as captain.

If a batter is brought on as an Impact Player, the player he replaces will be deemed to have retired out for the rest of the innings. Likewise, if a bowler is introduced by the bowling team as an Impact Playerin the middle of an over, he cannot bowl the remaining balls of that over.

The Impact Player can only be brought on after he is nominated by his captain to the umpire and the umpire makes a signal. If the Impact Player suffers a concussion during a match, he can be replaced by a concussion substitute as per the IPL Match Playing Conditions.

Sharing his thoughts on the Impact Player rule during a recent press meet in Kolkata, KKR Head Coach ChandrakantPandit said, “We have been working on it, obviously (identified impact player?). It’s a challenging rule. It’s very interesting. Basically, for the coaches and captains, it’s going to be interesting. We have been thinking about that, discussing with our support staff the various options.”

2.NAMING THE XI AFTER THE TOSS: The new rule allows a team to name the playing XI after the toss. The teams were informed about the rule less than a month prior to TATA IPL 2023. Accordingly, captains can carry two separate team sheets to the toss – one for if they are batting first and the other if they are bowling first.

3. TWO GROUPS: Akin to the previous edition, the ten teams have been divided into two groups with each team playing 7 home and 7 away matches in the group stages. KKR have been placed in Group A along with Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals, Delhi Capitals and Lucknow Super Giants. As per the format, KKR will play against all the teams of Group B twice and the otherfour teams of Group A once. The top 2 teams from the group stages will face each other in the first Qualifier, while the third and fourth-placed teams will play the Eliminator. The loser of Qualifier 1 will then take on the winner of the Eliminator in Qualifier 2. The final will be contested between the winners of Qualifiers 1 and 2.

4.DRS– TATA IPL 2023 will have two DRS for each innings. Interestingly, the players will be allowed to review wide and no-balls using the DRS as well. This new system was first implemented in the inaugural edition of the TATA Women’s Premier League (WPL).

5.RESCHEDULING DUE TO COVID-19 - If a team is unable to field the playing XI due to COVID-19, the BCCI will attempt to reschedule the game later in TATA IPL 2023. In case rescheduling is not possible, the IPL Technical Team will look into the matter.