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Australia's cricketers giving 2021 World Cup organisers confidence

Rugby League World Cup organisers have been in contact with English Cricket Board officials about preparations for the upcoming limited-overs series against Australia as tickets go on sale for next year’s tournament.

With the World Cup more than 14 months away, RLWC2021 CEO Jon Dutton said there was confidence in England the tournament would go ahead as planned and crowds were expected to soon be allowed to attend sporting events.  

"This is a fast-moving situation and we will get the benefit of the many things that are happening at the moment," Dutton said.

"The Australian cricket team has come over, we have had the Pakistan and West Indies here, we have seen what has happened with the Premier League and now in the UK we are starting to ramp up in terms of spectators coming back into stadia.

"We have a number of contingency plans but we have got to appreciate that we are 14 months away from the tournament and right here, right now we have got great momentum."

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The Australian cricket team flew to London last week and will play the first of three T20 matches against England in Southampton on September 4 before a series of one-day matches at Old Trafford in Manchester.

"The ECB have done a fantastic job in staging the West Indies Test series, and that was almost two months ago, then Pakistan and obviously moving into the short-form game against Australia," Dutton said.

"We have been in conversations with cricket and we have just got to keep learning to make sure we can deliver something that different, transformative and credible for our sport, and financially to make sure there is a benefit to international rugby league."

While Australians and New Zealanders are unable to travel outside their countries, World Cup organisers are looking ahead to next year and have launched international travel packages for fans wanting to attend the tournament.

RLWC2021 has appointed Glory Days, which was involved with the 2017 tournament in Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, to work with approved travel agents around the world.

"We just want to build confidence in Australia and New Zealand in our approach and tell people, as we are doing here in England, that the reason tickets are going on sale on September 21 is that there is a high degree of consumer confidence and people shouldn’t underestimate the importance that a World Cup brings.

"We have just got to take a very diligent and considered approach but at this point in time we have still got 14 months to go and I am sure the world will change again very rapidly over the next 14 months, as it has over the last four months."

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