Impact Index is a statistical system that is based on the hard black and white figures on the score-sheet page. Nothing outside of that. And it uses all that information in a holistic way. More than a complicated stats system with intimidating algorithms, Impact Index is more a new way of looking at cricket scorecards and using that information to account for match conditions, strength of opposition, crunch performances and series/tournament defining performances.
Impact Index, simply put, measures the performance of every player in every match on a scale of 0 to 5. These are objective measurements based on the unique occurrences in every match and the circumstances under which it is played. And most importantly, every performance is measured relative to the other performances in the same match.
This focus on a match-by-match examination leads to an entirely new way of looking at the game itself. While it confirms many notions (like the supremacy of Bradman and Sobers in the longer form), it also throws up many new insights (like the giant status of players like Andrew Flintoff, Jacques Kallis and Shane Watson in ODI cricket).
Most importantly, it gives a lot of cricketers their true pride-of-place that blind romanticism has often denied them (like Roger Twose being the batsman to absorb the maximum pressure in ODI cricket history). Just because a player has a dour style or does not attract media space for flamboyance, often their true worth as a cricketer to their team and to the sport in general has been overlooked. Impact Index intends to unearth each and every one of them and put each player's performance in perspective.
Also, a lot of contemporary players are getting overlooked when it comes to cricket analysis. All-time giants like Graeme Smith and Kumar Sangakkara do not have aggregate figures that are at the top-of-the-list but their performances during crunch moments for their side (in Test cricket) are the stuff legends are made of. But those legends haven't been established yet, perhaps because there is no romanticism around them. Maybe time will bring that, but as likely, their stellar contributions will be forgotten. As has happened with players like Bob Simpson and Richie Benaud in the longer form, and Lance Klusener, Carl Hooper and Ravi Shastri in ODI cricket.
Ravi Shastri, for example, used to be booed when he came out to play for a fair part of his career - he was considered a boring, dour player. Yet, the man is amongst India's top-5 ODI players of all time - not something conventional cricket statistics will ever pick out.
The key thing is this - Impact Index does not measure talent, or ability or flair... it measures character. It measures the ability to guts it out when the team really needs it. It measures the skill with which a batsman or a bowler overcomes adverse playing conditions. How often they do it. How it affects their team's fortunes (and so, often, changes their country's cricketing history).