• 29 June 2021

As we continue to pride ourselves as the leading insurance brokers within the sport and entertainment space, we’re introducing a new fortnightly sports notebook, wrapping up all of the major headlines from the last 14 days from across the world of sport through the lens of insurance and risk.

Today, we kick off the series looking at health risks in the EUROs, rain interruptions in the world of cricket, and the emergence of new heroes, among much more.

There really is nowhere else to start.

Tracing Billy Gilmour

EURO 2020 has begun in frantic fashion. We’ve had amazing goals, dubious VAR decisions and drama of the highest order. England fans remain hopeful, while some titans – including the great Cristiano Ronaldo – have fallen early. 

But nothing quite as strange has occurred as the curious case of Billy Gilmour. 

Gilmour embraced Chelsea teammates Mason Mount and Ben Chillwell after England and Scotland’s dour draw at Wembley, and consequently tested positive for COVID. 

Bizarrely, though, none of Gilmour’s teammates – those who share changing rooms, the tunnel, the pitch and the training ground with him – had to isolate, while England stars Chillwell and Mount did. 

This left two stars sidelined for England’s final group game against Czech Republic, and a nation fuming at the typical breakdown in regional COVID restrictions.

The minutiae of each nation’s COVID rules isn’t worth going in to here, but for Mount and Chillwell, missed opportunities at a major international is a considerable kick in their teeth – could lost earnings come in to play?

Let’s hope – for everyone’s sake – that’s the last time COVID rears its head this tournament.  

Rain Remains

Over to cricket now, and unsurprisingly, one thing has dominated headlines. Rain. 

Over the last two weeks, the UK has been the stage for two historic test matches. The first saw England Women take on India Women as the female game continues to explode, while the second saw the Indian men’s team come up against their New Zealand counter parts in the first ever World Test Championship final.

Huge expectations on both, and the Great British summer duly obliged.

With the women’s game taking place in Bristol, a large chunk of the third day was wiped out by bad weather, leading ultimately to a draw – albeit an exhilarating one. In Southampton, for the World Test Championship, rain annihilated both day one and day four in entirety. Thankfully, the ICC had built in a reserve day, and both teams played out a fascinating duel with New Zealand claiming the inaugural mace after a pulsating finish. 

It was a timely reminder, though, particularly as we emerge out of the fog of COVID, that previous risks to major events – be it the weather, security challenges, or facility issues – still remain and that event cancellation cover in all forms remains critical to the industry. 

Blazing a Trail

Wrapping up this week’s notebook, we saw some fantastic news in the equality in sport space. Las Vegas Raiders Defensive End Carl Nassib became the first active NFL player in history to come out as gay – much to the support of his peers.

Defensive Ends scarcely make headlines, but Nassib is now set to be at the centre of the league’s push for inclusion and equality, and undoubtedly brands will be lining up to support him on that journey. An increase in both exposure and earnings is likely, and with such a sudden surge of interest, athletes will need insurance to match.

And finally…

A curious incident over in Australia, where former international cricketer Stuart MacGill is recovering after being kidnapped and held at ransom. Four people have since been arrested, including the brother of MacGill’s partner, but the strange story is testament to the fact that athletes at every level – MacGill, long retired, never broke out of the shadow of Shane Warne – are more at risk than most, each and every day!