Putting runs on the scoreboard is just one part of the job for Cricket Australia (CA). Organising the travel logistics for teams playing across the country and around the globe requires stamina, precision and a spot-on performance every time. From international men’s and women’s teams, to state teams, pathway teams, all-abilities teams plus staff and executives, CA trusts Stage and Screen to manage the complex logistics for its teams as they travel the world.
Off the playing field
From a travel management perspective tours to many regular cricket destinations are straightforward to organise, while others can prove more challenging. Weather events, security issues and less airline options means extra care is required when booking tours to more developing and exotic locations.
The tours themselves are also some of the longest in the sports’ world. The shortest tours are usually two to three weeks, while the longest can be up to four months. The teams are not small either, with numbers ranging from around 21 people for a pathways team including support staff, and up to 34 people for the national men’s and women’s teams. Each team also travels with all their equipment, which means excess baggage logistics need to be negotiated for between 60 and 160 bags.
Fielding special requests
With gruelling schedules and long seasons, CA requires a high standard of accommodation for their team players and support staff. Stage and Screen has partnered with CA’s preferred hotels to deliver negotiated extras and to ensure an exacting level of service which includes - extra team meeting rooms, hotel gyms (or nearby gym facilities) and rooms reconfigured as physiotherapy and massage treatment rooms – complete with extra towels and extra cleaning services. Stage and Screen also liaises with hotel chefs to arrange healthy menus, specific food offerings to cater to the dietary needs of international teams and for fresh meals to be available after late night matches.
From September to March each year CA hosts visiting international teams, with Stage and Screen managing flights, accommodation and transfers – including coaches and cars. Vans are also needed to transport the large amounts of luggage which each team is required to travel with. Stage and Screen draws on its strong partnerships with domestic and international airlines to negotiate and manage excess baggage allowances, costs and delivery. A task that requires a high degree of knowledge when it comes to transiting through smaller domestic airports in countries such as the West Indies, which has different security processes and baggage allowances.
The top order
Far from the stadiums where cricket fans watch their idols play, our travel managers are kept busy all year long maintaining relationships with preferred hotels and carriers and ensuring that no travel is left to chance. The experienced CA Stage and Screen team has been handpicked, with individual travel managers dedicated to the unique needs of different teams - including men’s and women’s domestic and international teams, visiting teams and pathway teams. As a result, they each have a deep understanding of the players and their travel preferences, home ports, baggage movements and match schedules.
The nature of cricket also means that injuries, weather events and regular travel to countries where the security risk level can change quickly, can throw travel plans into disarray. The dedicated Stage and Screen after hours team is experienced at managing CA’s travel requests, and the regular CA travel managers will also often check in with their team outside of normal work hours when a critical team movement is happening over a weekend.
Going over and above the call of duty is typical of Stage and Screen, as was displayed when the Australian Under 19 Women’s Team was impacted by the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. The team was put into lockdown late on a Friday evening (Australian time) and the team’s Stage and Screen travel manager worked with the players and team officials late into the night – holding seats on flights out of New Zealand for when the lockdown was lifted. The afterhours team then took over, managing bookings and connecting flights – with the travel manager joining them again on Saturday morning to get the team home quickly and safely.