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Bitter Australian cricket pay dispute resolved: official

SYDNEY: Australia’s bruising and protracted cricket pay dispute was finally resolved Thursday with players and management agreeing on a new “in principle” deal, ensuring upcoming series against Bangladesh, India and England can go ahead.

“Today’s agreement is the result of sensible compromises by both parties,” said Cricket Australia chief James Sutherland.

The bad-tempered stand-off has been rumbling for months, rattling the game and badly straining the players’ relationship with the governing body.

Earlier,Australia captain Steve Smith said he was upbeat that a bitter pay war between players and management could be nearly over — but warned the team wouldn’t go ahead with this month’s tour of Bangladesh until a new deal is signed.

Some 230 Australian cricketers have been unemployed since the end of June when their contracts expired, in a row that has rattled the game and left their relationship with the governing body badly strained.

But after months of bad-tempered negotiations over a new pay deal — and a player boycott of an Australia A tour to South Africa — the dispute settled.

CA chief James Sutherland warned last week that unless the drawn-out negotiations over a revenue-sharing deal produced a compromise by early this week, he would take the matter to arbitration and let the industrial umpire resolve it.

This sparked new urgency to strike a deal, with talks continuing over the weekend.

Players have been paid from gross revenue for the past two decades, but CA wants their pay to come from a set pool instead, with only surplus revenue shared.

The Australian newspaper reported Wednesday that barring last-minute stumbling blocks, the players would largely retain the previous model, which they have insisted is non-negotiable.

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