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Smith hopeful pay dispute is nearing an end

Steve Smith said the long-running pay saga must be ended before Australia agree to depart for the tour of Bangladesh.

Smith-cropped
Australia captain Steven Smith

Steve Smith is optimistic that the pay dispute engulfing Australian cricket will soon be resolved but said there are still "key elements" to be agreed.

Talks between Cricket Australia (CA) and the Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) continued on Tuesday, but still no agreement has been reached over a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

Australia captain Smith is hopeful the long-running saga is nearing an end and stated that his side will not depart for a Test series in Bangladesh this month if the parties are unable to settle on terms.

"I told Pat Howard [CA executive general manager team performance] personally this was how things were going to be," Smith said on Fox Sports' Back Page Live show. 

"I'd like to [go to Bangladesh] but as we've said for a long time we need to get a deal done first.

"A deal hasn't been done just yet. There's still a few things that need to be finalised, some key elements. They've been making some really good progress and hopefully it's almost done.

"The guys have worked extremely hard the last few days. I know I've had calls from Alistair Nicholson [ACA chief executive] at midnight at the end of a day's work.

"I've been talking to both Alistair and Pat Howard on the phone most days. It's been a long process and hopefully it comes to a close soon."

Current and former Australia players have made their feelings be known in what has been such an uncertain time for Australian cricket, a month having passed since the previous MOU expired.

Smith believes he has taken the right approach by trying to play his part in resolving the differences by keeping in close contact with those locked in talks from both sides.

"It's had some difficult moments," the skipper added.

"When this is all over with, I have to deal with Pat Howard, I have to deal with the (CA) Board and speak to James Sutherland so I have to be careful with what sort of lines I tread.

"Some guys have been really vocal on social media and I think the way for me to lead in this dispute is to be able to talk to guys behind the scenes that are at the table and doing the job."

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