England's cricketers are gearing up for the Ashes tour
The year-long impasse over the central contracts of England's top players has been resolved by a new three-year deal.
It was agreed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Professional Cricketers' Association (PCA).
England Cricket managing director Hugh Morris said: "We are delighted to have all contractual issues resolved well in advance of the Ashes tour."
PCA chief Angus Porter said: "This agreement is good for the players, and good for cricket in England and Wales."
The ECB first offered a deal in September 2009, but for the second time since the introduction of the contract system there were issues with the terms.
England players will be able to focus on cricket for the next three years without the risk of being distracted by contract negotiations
ECB chief Hugh Morris
The contracts remained unsigned throughout the season, with the affected players effectively working under previously agreed conditions in the interim.
There were reports that England's players felt their payments were not sufficiently in line with their Australian counterparts as a proportion of their respective governing body's profits.
Availability for lucrative tournaments such as the Indian Premier League was believed to be another sticking point.
The ECB was particularly keen to agree a three-year deal to avoid an annual soap opera unfolding around the details of the contracts.
Central and incremental contracts will continue to be handed out on an annual basis, but the terms governing them will last until September 2013.
Morris added: "The terms and conditions are well structured, will encompass two Ashes series and an ICC Cricket World Cup, and will continue to offer additional rewards to players for successful team performances.
"We are delighted that the England players will be able to focus on cricket for the next three years without the risk of being distracted by contract negotiations."
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