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Pay deal not on skipper Smith's mind

AAP logoAAP 14/12/2016 Laine Clark

The last thing on Australia captain Steve Smith's mind is the player pay dispute - well, for this week at least.

Smith says he will be too busy earning his keep against an express Pakistan attack in Brisbane's first day-night Test starting on Thursday.

"Wahab Riaz is charging in at 150kph - the last thing I want to think about is whether I am being paid too much," Smith said.

Smith and his deputy David Warner are considered pivotal figures in brokering a new pay deal after Cricket Australia and the players' union sat down for talks this week.

The Australian Cricketers' Association want to keep the current system, in which the players pay pool is devised by a percentage of CA revenue, as has been the case since 1997.

Smith had not entered a public debate over the topic until Wednesday in Brisbane - but the Australian captain admitted he had more pressing concerns.

Asked if the current pay deal should stay, Smith said: "I think that is the right way forward.

"But at the moment I am letting the ACA handle that.

"I am worrying about this Test match."

CA and ACA have debated the merits of the pay system in the past, largely behind closed doors, and either reached agreement before their deadline or extended the existing memorandum of understanding (MOU) on a short-term basis.

CA and ACA completed two days of talks in Melbourne on Tuesday over a new five-year MOU and have described discussions as "ongoing".

CA CEO James Sutherland said on Tuesday he could not give a deadline to when the pay dispute would be settled.

However, Sutherland said he was not concerned that it would result in a player strike.

Smith was also confident pay talks would not get ugly.

"We have to look after everyone in the game," Smith said.

"I am sure the ACA and CA are handling it.

"They both want the right thing for the game going forward.

"I am sure we will come to an agreement."

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