England's cricket stars are set to sign new and improved central contracts this week. 

The long-running negotiations will be concluded this week, according to Sky Sports

Angus Porter, chief executive of the Professional Cricketers' Association, said: "We're making good progress. We are hopeful we will be able to sign the contracts soon."

Porter, who is working on the behalf of the players in talks with the England and Wales Cricket Board, added: "There are one or two details still to be sorted out. We hope to have it sorted before the players fly out to Australia."

The England squad will fly out to Australia next Thursday ahead of the winter Ashes series. 

The home side will be looking to avenge their 3-0 summer defeat and restore some pride after an overseas humbling. 

It was also revealed this week that the 'hot-spot' system will not be used in the series after the technology came under scrutiny during the summer series. 

England's squad for the trip down under was announced last month and included un-capped trio Gary Ballance, Boyd Rankin and Ben Stokes.

The trio add to England's contingent of over-seas born players, with Ballance being born in Zimbabwe, Stokes in New Zealand and Rankin having vast limited overs experience with his native Ireland.

England Test squad for Australia: Alastair Cook (Essex, captain), Joe Root (Yorkshire), Jonathan Trott (Warwickshire), Kevin Pietersen (Surrey), Ian Bell (Warwickshire), Gary Ballance (Yorkshire), Michael Carberry (Hampshire), Jonny Bairstow (Yorkshire), Ben Stokes (Durham),  Matt Prior (Sussex, vice-captain), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Graeme Swann (Nottinghamshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), Monty Panesar (Sussex, on loan at Essex), Steven Finn (Middlesex), Boyd Rankin (Warwickshire), Chris Tremlett (Surrey).

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms