ECB 'confident' of finalizing central contracts for players before 'return' Ashes tour

London, Oct 2 : The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is reportedly confident of finalising long-term deals for their centrally contracted players before they fly to Australia in three weeks' time, even though their contracts expired on Monday.

The ECB has been in negotiations with the Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA) to reflect the record television deal with Sky that runs until the end of 2017, although it was unable to reach an agreement before the winter Ashes squad was announced recently

According to The Guardian, however, such things have happened before and so the ECB is still continuing the negotiations till the very last minute as all parties will be keen to resolve the issue before England fly to Perth on October 23.

Meanwhile, Middlesex director of cricket Angus Fraser is being seen as an increasingly attractive option for the ECB to replace Hugh Morris as the managing director of England cricket at the end of the year given his years of experience at all levels of English cricket.

Former England captain Andrew Strauss has confirmed to the ECB that he will not be applying, while his former teammate and another former skipper Nasser Hussain has also confirmed his unavailability for the position.

--ANI (Posted on 02-10-2013)

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