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Smith upbeat but says no tour without new pay deal

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.

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