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    Australian cricketers' strike prospects fade

    Melbourne: The prospect of Australia's cricketers going on strike in England have eased after negotiations between the players and Cricket Australia (CA) over their ongoing pay dispute seemed to be going in the right direction.

    After a meeting with the CA officials, Australian Cricketers' Association (ACA) boss Paul Marsh said that both the parties were closer to a resolution following the discussions. "We had a productive meeting [with CA], and we made a lot of progress, but we're now at a point where our respective board needs to consider where we're at," Marsh was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Asked about the threat by the players to go on strike if an agreement could not be reached before the June 30 deadline, Marsh said, "[I] don't want to go down that path. Our priority is to try and get a deal done before June 30."

    The meeting came as captain Michael Clarke declared that the last thing any player wanted to do was strike. "Hopefully, I don't have to worry about it; hopefully it'll get sorted before then," said Clarke before boarding a flight to England where Australia are scheduled to play an ODI series.

    CA is pushing for a change to the revenue pool, from which the players currently receive 26 per cent, and want a new performance-based pay deal in line with the recommendations from last year's Argus review.

    A CA spokesman said, "The simple way of explaining that is the Argus committee believes the players should be well paid, but they should be paid more, for example, if they win a series 5-0 than if they lose a series 0-5."

    The upcoming tour is the last chance Australia have of playing international cricket in England before next year's Ashes series. Australia will play their first and only ODI against Ireland in Belfast next Saturday before taking on England in the five-game series that starts on June 29 at Lord's.