South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen Criticises IPL Impact Sub Rule and Reflects on Sri Lanka Win

South Africa’s Heinrich Klaasen criticizes the IPL impact sub rule, calling for its exclusion from international cricket. Klaasen reflects on the Proteas' T20 World Cup win against Sri Lanka, highlighting the challenges of adapting to difficult pitches and the importance of strategic batting over the IPL's high-octane style.

Ken Borland
Ken Borland

Last Updated: 2024-06-06

Louis Hobbs

5 minutes read

Ruthless Heinrich Klaasen smashes fourth-fastest 150 to guide South Africa to biggest ODI total

South African batting star Heinrich Klaasen hopes the impact sub rule used in the Indian Premier League never makes its way into international cricket, saying it negates the need for “smart batting”.

Proteas Triumph in Challenging Conditions

Klaasen steered the Proteas to victory in their opening T20 World Cup match in New York, a meagre target of 78 still requiring the batsmen to be at their sharpest on a treacherous pitch that saw the facilities at the Nassau County International Cricket Stadium being criticised for producing a game that lacked entertainment value as the International Cricket Council seeks to reach new markets.

It was all a far cry from the recent IPL, in which strike-rates and totals reached all-time highs. Klaasen, the key finisher for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL, had to play clever cricket against Sri Lanka on a pitch with inconsistent but often steep bounce, and plenty of seam movement, finishing with 19 not out of 22 balls.

Image Credits: India TV News

Image Credits: India TV News

Klaasen Opposes Impact Sub Rule in International Cricket

It was the sort of match that would have been near-impossible in the IPL with the impact sub rule allowing teams to bolster their batting line-up while not weakening their bowling attack. Klaasen was adamant that he would not like to see the international game adopt the gimmick.

“The impact sub rule allowed batsmen to play with much more freedom and the execution was at a different level on pitches that were good. In the IPL, you are measured by the number of sixes you hit and your strike-rate, that’s your bread-and-butter and no-one worries about your average,” Klaasen told

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But I hope the impact sub does not come into international cricket. It frees up the batting side too much and you can have a batsman at number nine with it, so there’s no need for anyone to hang around.

Heinrich Klassen

IPL's High-Octane Style vs. Traditional Tactics

“It takes away the creativity of batting, it takes away smart batting. Like when Jos Buttler scored a superb century off 60 balls for Rajasthan Royals against Kolkata Knight Riders to chase down 224, having scored just 25 off his first 18 deliveries. The impact sub will take away that sort of brilliance to sum up conditions and hang around a bit, against just bombing the ball over small boundaries.

“It will allow teams to not play the situation so well. We also don’t get a lot of difficult pitches in the IPL, which is why the way teams go extremely hard in the powerplay is the big trend, and then the middle-order adjusts depending on whether you’re in trouble or flying,” Klaasen said.

The Impact of IPL Experience on International Performance

While South Africa started their T20 World Cup campaign in impressive fashion against Sri Lanka, Lady Luck has not always been on their side in ICC events, and they are yet to win one of the main trophies. Klaasen says the number of players they have with experience in the high-pressure IPL arena has helped them perform better in recent World Cups.

“We’ve got off to a very good start which means we can relax a bit and just keep building on that confidence. We need to focus on what we do best and keep that intensity.

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But the Netherlands have beaten us twice and Bangladesh can beat any team on their day, so we need to play the big moments well in those games.

Heinrich Klassen

The Path Forward for South Africa in the T20 World Cup

“We’ve matured and gelled nicely as a team and a lot of the guys have played in the IPL, where there is a lot of pressure and expectation. We have been playing good World Cup cricket lately. Of the last three World Cups, we’ve only had one bad one, the 2022 T20 in Australia when we didn’t play well.

“But in Abu Dhabi in the 2021 T20 we only lost one out of five matches but missed out on the semi-finals on nett run-rate, and last year in India in the ODI World Cup, we played some unbelievable cricket to reach the semi-finals,” Klaasen said.

Ken Borland
Ken BorlandSports Writer

Ken Borland is a freelance sports journalist and commentator based in Johannesburg, South Africa. His specialities are cricket, rugby, golf and hockey (he’s the winner of an SA Hockey Association Merit Award), but he has occasionally ventured further afield from these main sports!

Although sport is his job and something he loves, he is also passionate about the outdoors, wildlife and birding; conchology; music and collecting charts; movies; and his faith.