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Cricket: News conference called, end of Australia pay dispute expected

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Cricket Australia and the Australian Cricketers' Association have called a joint news conference for later on Thursday, when they are expected to announce the agreement of a new pay deal to end the lockout of the country's top players.

Australia's top 230 players have effectively been unemployed since the previous five-year agreement expired on June 30 and an "A" tour of South Africa has already fallen victim to the acrimonious dispute.

A report on Cricket Australia's website said a deal was struck after negotiations between Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland and union boss Alistair Nicholson in Melbourne on Thursday morning.

More details of the deal are expected when the pair front the media at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at 4:30 p.m. local time (0630 GMT).

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by John O'Brien)

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