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123 Jan 11
If the crickets Test Championship mace is presented to the worlds No. Basket Vapormax Pas Cher . 1 team at a private function, is there any point presenting it at all?In a stark indication of the games convoluted and context-less international schedule, Australias captain Steven Smith was handed the mace by the ICCs chief executive David Richardson in a closed event at the Earls Regency Hotel in Kandy, with no access to the public or the media. Next to the presentation of the football and rugby World Cups, or even crickets own global events in ODIs and Twenty20s, this was a ceremony that bordered on the farcical.ESPNcricinfo understands the privacy was the result of a last-minute request by Sri Lanka Cricket to keep the event low key, so as not to deflate their players before the looming Test series between the two nations, due to begin at Pallekele on Tuesday. So late was the decision reached that the ICC had already hired an MC for a public event, but he was instead left as a bystander to the hushed handover.David Richardson is in Kandy for the presentation of the mace to Australia, which finished as the No.1 ranked Test side at the 1 April cut-off date, an ICC spokesman said. As this is a sponsor-related activity and unrelated to the forthcoming series, the ICC, in conjunction with the Members/teams, decided to keep this presentation as a closed event.Australia had effectively claimed top spot as far back as February with a 2-0 series win in New Zealand, something formalised when the ICC rankings had their annual adjustment on April 1. But the mace stayed with the previous holders India throughout the year, rather than being presented at a more opportune moment in New Zealand.This is not the first time the maces presentation to Australia has not coincided with a notable victory. In 2014 it was handed over at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane in April after Michael Clarkes team had usurped South Africa as No. 1 with a dramatic final- day victory at Newlands in Cape Town. The lack of a distinct moment at which to hand over ownership of a trophy meant to be the games most sought-after prize is symbolic of the problems of context and meaning that the ICC are presently trying to solve with a new bilateral schedule.A proposal for a new two-tier structure, with seven teams in division one and five in division two, was discussed at the ICCs annual conference in Edinburgh in June. Under the plan, a Test Champion would be decided every two years, with all top division teams playing each other in a series over that time to work out the winner. Further talks to add detail to the proposal, which includes the provision for bundled television rights to provide guaranteed revenue flows for competing countries, are scheduled for September ahead of the next formal ICC meetings in October in Dubai. SLC has indicated their opposition to the proposal.Smith said he was delighted to have taken possession of the mace, and shrugged at the circumstances in which it had been delivered. It doesnt bother me too much really, I guess its just the way the rankings work, he said. They decided this was the right time to do it, and it was a great honour to accept the Test Mace as the No. 1 team in the world at this stage.A lot of hard work in front of us to make sure we stay at No. 1. We do have a couple of tough Test series coming up, so for us we know theres a lot of hard work in front of us if we want to stay at No. 1, were going to be the hunted now were at the top of the tree, so we have to work hard to make sure we stay there.In a statement, Richardson spoke of exciting times for Test matches. The mace is a symbol of excellence and recognition of a sides outstanding achievement in the toughest format of the sport, he said. Australias winning performances have been exceptional and they thoroughly deserve to be awarded the mace.These are exciting times for Test cricket as the top four ranked countries are involved in high profile series across three different continents showcasing the very best this format of the sport has to offer. I am sure the incentive of achieving the number-one ranking will further motivate them, bringing out the best in the players.Broadcasters had recently indicated to the ICC that bilateral series lacking context were losing their commercial value, forcing the games custodians to drastically rethink the structure of the international game. The events in Kandy on Monday served only to underline the need for change. Nike Vapormax Chine . The giant slalom world champion slipped during her first run in the morning, landing on her back and then twisting forward before getting her leg caught in the protective material on the side of the slope. Vapormax Pas Cher . Giroud, who wasnt in the starting lineup for two matches after allegations about his private life and a decline in form, scored twice in the first half. Tomas Rosickys chip made it 3-0 before half time at Emirates Stadium, while defender Laurent Koscielny scored an unmarked header in the second half. .C. United of Major League Soccer. United chose the defender in the second round of the 2013 MLS re-entry draft. PITTSBURGH -- After the Steelers second straight season with injuries to key players, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is concerned about the teams physical practices affecting the health of players.Roethlisberger said he understands the Steelers desire for a physical edge on Sundays, but he said he feels compelled to stand up for his offensive linemen, running backs and others taking a pounding during an NFL season, particularly at training camp. The Steelers will likely play against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday without three of their most talented defensive players: linemen Cam Heyward (hamstring), linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) and outside linebacker Bud Dupree (injured reserve, sports hernia).When youre doing it over and over and the guys shoulders are getting sore and knees start getting sore and hips and hamstrings and quads and things, and then they re-occur, youve got to maybe take a look at what youre doing,?Roethlisberger said.We pride ourselves as the Pittsburgh Steelers being a physical football team, so its a fine line you have to walk.After Wednesdays practice, coach Mike Tomlin said the balance between physicality and protecting players is a conversation we continually have. The team will evaluate this issue and others at the end of the season.Were a transparent group. Opinions are valued, said Tomlin of Roethlisbergers comments. We dont care where good ideas come from. Were just trying to win football games. Bens been around here long enough to have an opinion and also express it.Roethlisberger said on his weekly appearance with 93.7 The Fan that physical practices might be taking a toll on the roster. He referenced the joint practices with the Detroit Lions in August, when Detroit was undergoing its first live hitting session while the Steellers had been hitting for two weeks. Nike Vapormax En Solde. Last season, running back LeVeon Bell, Roethlisberger and center Maurkice Pouncey were among offensive players sidelined by injuries. Asked Wednesday what should change, Roethlisberger said he didnt know.Im not the coach or the owners or the league or the office, Roethlisberger said. Im just a player.All NFL teams are limited to 14 padded practices per regular season, but the Steelers are known to have one of the most physical training camps in the league.Roethlisberger got several rest days during camp, and the Steelers sometimes give key veterans off days during the season. Roethlisberger said the Steelers sometimes, not always reduce hitting in-season.You see those pads on top of the locker being worn all year long, so like I said, for me, I cant complain too much because Im not the one getting hit, but I will stand up for the big boys, Roethlisberger said.Tomlin has said in the past that physical practices are a team-building requirement for his team, especially while trying to reduce a 90-man roster to 53 during camp.The Steelers have listed 25 different players as out for a game this year, which is eight more than the next-closest teams, the Colts and Browns (17), according to ESPN Stats and Info.Guard Ramon Foster said his recent chest injury came from in-game action, but he understands his quarterbacks perspective. The starting offensive line takes a lot of the training camp reps while in full pads.Im glad he spoke out on it, Foster said. If he gets us less days in pads, Im OK with that, too. 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