Cricket , Insurance, Covid 19 – Where do we go from here?
Well, that was the year that was……..2020……and it will be remembered for nothing other than, of course, Covid 19 - a pandemic that wreaked havoc throughout the UK, and across the World, affecting millions and millions of lives.
For more information on Aston Lark's Club Insurance Contact
Colin Mico, FCII
Account Executive Cricket Clubs Team
T: 01883 868521
Throughout all the uncertainty, lockdowns and social distancing, in the UK, cricket did manage to be played at International and Club level - although huge financial losses, which are still be counted and assessed, were sustained across all levels of cricket and the impact on the game’s participation is unquantified, at present.
Here at Cricket World, we kept in close touch with the grass roots of the game and campaigned vigorously to ‘get the game on’ and as well as posing a few awkward questions to the ECB, MCC and First Class Counties as to why they not properly insured – Was Cricket properly Insured? which caused an even worse crisis to the game than what may well have been.
We recently interviewed Colin Mico, Sport Insurance expert, at Insurance Brokers Aston Lark, about his experiences of 2020 and his outlook for 2021 and beyond.
“2020 has been a very challenging year for all of us, and the World of Cricket is very different as we look forward to 2021, than it was as we exited 2019.
Both my professional and personal life is wrapped up with cricket – I am the Development Officer, Club Welfare Officer and Head Coach at Caterham Cricket Club, in Surrey, and run the Sport & Leisure team at Insurance Brokers Aston Lark, where we look after the insurance needs of over 400 clubs, leagues & associations.
I have spent all year dealing with the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic.
As a club officer, I had to keep being positive in March & April, about the prospect of cricket during 2020, and come up with training plans at all levels that took into the account the Government & ECB Guidelines in force during the first half of the year. There were a lot of people who truly believed that no recreational cricket would be played – fortunately there were more optimistic souls involved in the Cricket Club Development Network, Surrey Cricket Foundation and at Cricket World, who shared information to allow us to develop good plans so that we could hear the sound of leather on willow.
I took over the training of the seniors at Caterham and had them doing strength and conditioning work in groups of 6 in early June as soon as we were allowed. We then progressed to small group practice and on to full matches as restrictions eased.
We also managed to get 10 weeks of junior practice in, despite the fact that we could not start that until late June.
On a professional front, we have been in constant contact with our clubs, to help them decide how they reduce cover during the delayed start to the season, and what likelihood there would be of collecting claims payments for their Coronavirus related business Interruption claims. That particular saga should come to an end shortly when the Supreme Court hands down its judgement following the appeal.
We also launched a prize draw this year, giving away £ 1,000 for upgrading facilities or coaching equipment; Camborne Cricket Club in Cornwall were the grateful recipients of our cheque. We are extending this in 2021 to include a 2nd & 3rd prize to allow the funding to be spread a little wider.
I feel that I am one of those lucky people whose private interests and professional duties are so completely intertwined.
Knowing what clubs truly needed as a result of my committee work, allowed me to create with Hiscox Insurance company the best insurance policy wording in the UK market. It covers everything that a club needs, and we can also provide Cyber support via a separate policy.
Hiscox are great to work with – they are receptive to any changes that we require, they respond promptly on cases that we need to refer to them, and their service on general claims has been exceptional. They do look after other sports as well (Golf, Hockey and Lawn Tennis being prominent) so there is the opportunity to cross refer ideas that are coming from Sport England and the respective National Governing Bodies.
We have even had situations where a club has suffered a claim on a Saturday, reported it directly to Hiscox on the help line and we have come into the office on the following Monday morning to find that Hiscox have already raised a payment!
What are my concerns for 2021?
Well as the vaccine has now been approved, I think clubs can look forward to a more normal season in 2021, although indoor training may be slightly curtailed.
With all the changes in personnel at the ECB and departure of staff connected with the Participation and Growth element, I worry that the Community Cricket teams in the counties are going to have an increased development burden.
We have really good relationships with the Community cricket units at Kent, Surrey & Essex, and regular contact with those at Sussex & Middlesex, and it does concern me that the drive to increase participation numbers may founder without the Central Support.
Also, the move to making Club Mark more of a safeguarding exercise, runs the risk of losing the growth / sustainability element which has been so important over the last five years.
We are looking forward to greatly increasing the number of clubs we work with.
There are around 6,000 cricket clubs in England & Wales who are either existing clients, or who receive monthly messages from us, helping them understand their financial exposures. Given all the positive things that we have tried to do during the lockdowns to help and support clubs in general, I look forward to speaking to them in more detail in early 2021 to determine their specific insurance needs”
Well, some really positive feedback there from Colin Mico about his own club experiences and also what his company, Aston Lark are doing for clubs and businesses across the UK.
We, at Cricket World, are looking at 2021 and beyond with excitement at the prospect of new opportunities and we will continue to campaign for grass roots cricket and endeavour to hold the game’s administrators to account. Please keep in touch and keep safe.
©Cricket World 2020