Three major international news agencies have settled a media rights dispute with Cricket Australia, allowing The Associated Press to begin providing coverage of the second test match between Australia and Sri Lanka.

Lasith Malinga in action against Australia
[GALLO/GETTY]
The AP, Reuters and Agence France-Presse were locked out of the first test last week in Brisbane after refusing conditions of accreditation that limited the distribution of news and images from Cricket Australia venues and a demand for a license fee.

Weeks of negotiations between a coalition of international media and Cricket Australia resulted in a provisional agreement reached late during the first day of the test which began Friday at Bellerive Oval in Hobart.

"I think we've been able to convince Cricket Australia that vigorous independent news coverage is crucial to the health of their sport, and that trying to suppress, restrict or co-opt us is not only wrong but against their own best interests," said Dave Tomlin, associate general counsel to The AP.

"So this is a good day for cricket in every way.

"We've left a few important details to be worked out later, so we're going back in on a somewhat provisional basis.

"But both sides have shown a lot of good faith up to now, so we're confident we'll be able to tie the last loose ends up without further disruptions in coverage."

Australia, which has won its last 13 tests, leads the two-match series after winning in Brisbane by an innings and 40 runs last Monday.

Going into the match, veteran Sri Lanka spin bowler Muttiah Muralitharan needed seven wickets to overhaul retired Australian legspinner Shane Warne's world record for most test wickets, which stands at 708.

Muralitharan picked up one wicket Friday.

Source: Agencies