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  • 04 Jun
    导出博客文章A captain sits in a basement, a solitary figure, under siege. Confronted by
    glaring lights and uncomfortable questions, he speaks of embarrassment, of
    humiliation. He pleads for players who will stand with him and fight. A leader
    of a broken team that stems from a broken system and will now be scattered
    across the country to play in a domestic competition that is, quite literally,
    broken in two. Some of them will not return.A captain stands on the boundary
    edge at the MCG, a solitary figure, under siege. He doesnt speak at all.
    Instead, he quietly watches as his new charges stand shoulder to shoulder,
    behind their most senior member, who does all the talking. Their faces are
    angry, the words are defiant and the message is clear: were here to fight for
    our captain.The contrast between the two scenes is clear.The rest is chaos.****A
    dead rubber has suddenly taken on enormous significance for both sides: one in a
    frantic race to piece together the fragments after two shattering defeats and to
    avoid a historic whitewash, the other in a battle to prove the integrity of the
    man who has led them to this famous series victory.Observers and fans are lining
    up on either side to condemn the other. The Australians are sore losers, they
    say; they blamed the pitches in Sri Lanka and now they are blaming breath mints.
    The South Africans are cheats, they say, led by a convicted cheat, and now we
    know why their bowlers can swing the ball so well.Lost is the fact the
    Australian camp didnt make a complaint and at least one senior figure in
    Australian cricket supports everything Amla said at Saturdays extraordinary
    press conference.South Africa must contest the charge after such a strong
    display but clearly feel so aggrieved that such a stance is warranted. The last
    time Melbourne saw anything like this, it was a rugby league team - the
    Melbourne Storm - walking shoulder to shoulder across a field in a show of
    solidarity amidst a salary cap scandal. Storm were stripped of their
    premierships; South Africa will hope their brothers-in-arms moment has a happier
    result.Mints, chewing gum, Brylcreem, sunscreen, lip balm, sweat, saliva, dirt,
    zippers, energy drinks, bottle tops, biltong, teeth and even Red Frogs (a chewy
    candy) - surely, the most surreal - are being offered as alchemical ingredients
    that, when combined with leather, produce swinging gold. Or not.Everyone is
    suddenly an expert on the science behind a reversing ball when, in reality,
    bowlers who can find reverse often cant explain the physics that cause it or
    predict when it will happen.In a game fighting for relevance and survival,
    threatened by flat pitches and dominated by big bats, the art of reverse can
    undoubtedly bring bowlers back into the contest. Players jump up to claim
    everyone does it and only the unlucky are spotted; that will be a difficult
    defence to mount if the ICC determines South Africas captain used saliva - only
    in cricket could spittle be so highly scrutinised - mixed with an artificial
    substance to shine the ball. Perhaps its the laws that deserve the
    scrutiny.Meanwhile, the Sheffield Shield is suddenly the most keenly followed
    domestic competition since the Big Bash rolled into town. The contenders and the
    condemned are graded day by day, session by session. Rod Marsh may have
    absconded but the entire nation has replaced him. Armchair, laptop and Twitter
    selectors name their XI and conduct heated selection meetings in the comments
    section.Blood young players, some experts cry. Pick the best players, regardless
    of age, insist others. Remember Mike Hussey? Yeah, well, what about the mid-80s?
    That turned out okay.Officials point to the recent success of Australia A and
    maintain the future is bright while past players claim the present was ruined by
    altering the Futures League. The man who introduced those changes, since
    abandoned, is now an Australian interim selector. Budding Mike Husseys abandon
    hope.A red ball is being used to audition for a pink-ball Test. A few weeks ago,
    a pink ball was used to prepare for a red-ball Test. The irony? That Australia
    were confident enough that the series would still be alive in Adelaide to think
    pink-ball practice was relevant before the opening match in Perth. They also
    assumed their Test batsmen would have earned a rest this week, so wouldnt be
    playing in the Shield anyway.****Amid the cacophony, two captains must prepare
    their sides for a Test that has no bearing on the series and, yet, suddenly has
    so much meaning. On one side, an unknown squad, pulled together by an
    embarrassed leader needs somehow to conjure victory in a losing cause and
    restore some pride.On the other, a leader who may be under a cloud - who may not
    even play - but is secure in the knowledge all of his players will fight for
    him, both on and off the field.And for that, alone, Steven Smith must envy Faf
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    . LOUIS -- Roman Polak was celebrating even before
    Alexander Steen scored the winning goal in Saturdays 4-2 win over the Carolina
    Hurricanes. BATON ROUGE, La. -- LSU starting defensive end Davon Godchaux?has
    been suspended indefinitely after being arrested following an incident with his
    girlfriend at his apartment, a school spokesman said Monday.The East Baton Rouge
    Parish Sheriffs Office said Godchaux was released on $3,000 bond after being
    arrested on charges of false imprisonment and domestic abuse/child endangerment.
    The arrest report said his girlfriend was cited on a charge of domestic
    abuse/child endangerment.The arrest report said the woman accused GGodchaux of
    grabbing her hair and later her shoulder when she tried to leave his
    apartment.ddddddddddddodchaux told the investigator repeatedly that he never
    tried to keep the woman from leaving. He said that he asked her several times to
    leave, but she refused.At LSUs practice on Monday, Frank Herron replaced
    Godchaux as first-team defensive end.ESPNs David Ching contributed to this
    report ' ' '