Brought to you by:
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance
Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Cricket star Starc stands his ground after Lloyd’s denies claim

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Starc insists he is owed $1.5 million under a total disablement policy issued by a Lloyd’s syndicate.

Mr Starc, 29, is suing Lloyd’s over an unpaid insurance claim after he was injured playing for Australia in South Africa last year, and as a result missed the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) season.

A three-day civil trial on the matter is listed to begin in the County Court of Victoria on March 30 next year.

Defending lawyers Clyde and Co said in May that Mr Starc did not "meet the policy requirements for payment of the total disablement benefit” because he had not "suffered total disablement as a result of a bodily injury as defined by the policy contract".

“The defendant denies that the plaintiff is entitled to the relief sought or any relief at all," a County Court of Victoria document filed by Clyde and Co says.

A responding document dated August 12 and prepared by Mr Starc’s lawyers Mills Oakley states that Mr Starc was contracted to play in the April and May 2018 Indian Premier League for the Kolkata Knight Riders cricket team, and the insurance contract was triggered when Mr Starc missed IPL play through injury.

Brad French, the MD of underwriting agency SLE Worldwide, confirmed to today that his company had sold the policy to Mr Starc, but did not comment further on the case.

Overseas cricketers in the league have increasingly been insuring themselves for large sums because IPL players earn more for one match than in any other sport. The latest Global Sports Salary survey by Sporting Intelligence shows top IPL players are the highest-paid sportsmen per game, earning $US361,350 ($526,416) on average.

Mr Starc, who lives in North Curl Curl in Sydney, was secured for $1.8 million in the 2018 IPL auction, according to Fairfax media, but did not play after he fractured his right shinbone.

He is seeking $1.51 million, plus interest to the date of judgment.

A writ lodged on behalf of the bowler states that on March 10 2018, Mr Starc suffered an injury to his right tibial bone while playing in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

“While bowling on uneven footmarks on a worn wicket, the plaintiff suffered a sudden onset of pain in his right calf. The pain worsened over the next few bowling sessions and during the next test match. Ultimately, the injury resulted in the plaintiff missing the final test match of the tour and him being listed by the Australian Cricketers Association and Cricket Australia as injured by reason of tibial bone stress,” the writ states.

The injury, a Grade 3 tibial injury which involved a fracture in his right tibial bone – usually referred to as the shinbone – was a “bodily injury within the meaning of the policy” and “caused by an accident within the meaning of the policy,” it says.

The injury was caused by “the sudden and unexpected force placed on the plaintiff's right leg as a result of him bowling on uneven footmarks on a worn pitch” which directly and independently caused the injury, the writ argues.

That meant that Mr Starc was unable to play any of the matches he was contracted to play for the Kolkata Knight Riders during the 2018 season.

Lloyd’s denies Mr Starc suffered a fracture of his right tibial bone and says his injury does not meet the policy requirements for payment of the total disablement benefit. It also denies there was total disablement as a result of a bodily injury or an accident as defined by the policy contract.

Mills Oakley lawyers did not respond to an request for comment.

Yesterday’s edition of was published late due to a systems fault suffered by our email distribution platform. Our apologies to readers – we have been assured it won’t happen again.