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 end appears to be in sight.
“A deal hasn’t been done just yet,” Smith told Fox Sports Australia late Tuesday. “There’s still a few things that need to be finalised, some key elements.
“They’ve been making some really good progress and hopefully they’ll continue to make progress.”
A resolution would give certainty not just to the Bangladesh trip, but a one-day tour to India in September and October ahead of the showpiece home Ashes series against England, beginning in November.
But Smith said a deal would have to be struck before Australia board the flight for Dhaka on August 18.
“I told Pat Howard personally this was how things were going to be,” he said, referring to Cricket Australia’s team performance manager.—AFP