Antigua: The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) and its players have said that they are close to resolving their long-standing dispute, paving the way for a full-strength team to visit Australia later in the year.
The WICB and the West Indies Players' Association (WIPA) said they have settled most of the divisive issues, with an arbitration process organized to sort out the remaining concerns.
“WICB and WIPA have announced that nearly all outstanding matters in dispute between the two bodies have been settled amicably," the two organizations said in a statement.
As part of their deal, they will start negotiations for a new collective bargaining agreement, to be finalized by the end of this year, at the latest.
“Both parties are pleased that the agreement reached creates an environment to engage in building a genuine partnership that can ensure the long term development and progress of West Indies cricket," the statement said.
Cricket Australia (CA) welcomed the breakthrough.
“We are seeking confirmation, but the early reports we are seeing reflect the encouraging private noises we have been hearing from West Indies cricket in recent weeks," CA chief executive James Sutherland said.
“Test cricket is about the best versus the best and we are looking forward to an exciting summer against the West Indies and also the talented Pakistan team."
Australia are scheduled to play three Tests against the West Indies in November and December, as well as two Twenty20 games and five one-dayers in February.
Pakistan will also play Test and one-day series and a Twenty20 match against Australia.