Australian cricket has finally signed off on a new landmark pay deal, ending a bitter and drawn-out saga that’s lasted nearly 10 months.

The in-principle agreement was signed after a final round of face-to-face negotiations between Cricket Australia Chief Executive James Sutherland and his Australian Cricket Association counterpart Alistair Nicholson in Melbourne this morning.

The Ashes has been saved and Steve Smith will lead his team to Bangladesh later this month for two Tests.

It’s expected CA chief executive James Sutherland and his ACA counterpart Alistair Nicholson will hold a press conference in Melbourne later on Thursday.

The central sticking point throughout the sometimes rancorous stand-off has been the model by which the players are paid. In previous iterations of the MOU over the past two decades, players have received an agreed portion of CA’s gross cricket-related revenue but the governing body sought to modify that in the new agreement to allow it greater flexibility for much-needed investment in grassroots programs and facilities.

Grassroots and back pay are the other key points in the agreement.

Players who have been uncontracted for a over a month will now be paid again.