For a sport renowned for its spirit there is a distinct lack of it in cricket at the moment.
Anyone unfortunate enough to tune in to Sky Sports’ “exclusive” coverage of the Stanford 20/20 at the weekend will know exactly what I am talking about.
Unlike much of the sportswriting fraternity, I have no problem with the concept of Twenty20 cricket; just with the part involving Sir Allen Stanford, the billionaire responsible for enshrouding the sports soul in dollar bills and setting fire to it.
The sad irony is that Stanford could replace the Ashes.
If ever there were a gross commercial venture masquerading as a sporting event, it is the preposterous, eponymous sham which will take place in Antigua at the weekend. Do not watch it.
While grossly overpaid sportsmen are something we have become accustomed to in this country, that is not the issue; the issue is the way in which the sport’s name is being muddied in the process.
Of course, only a fool wouldn’t be interested in earning £600,000 for a few hours’ work, especially in such testing economic times, but those fortunate enough to be offered the chance should at least be honest about their motives for doing it.
Please do not buy into the apologist tripe coming from the England camp about the players only fulfilling the wishes of their employers, as seen in several Sunday newspapers.
Like Lord Mandelson’s name being linked to sinister dealings, it was no surprise to see that England captain Kevin Pietersen, a man who does irritating smugness more effortlessly than most, was closely connected with such nonsense.
When the same employers forbade its centrally-contracted players from featuring in the lucrative Indian Premier League last year - a hardline stance which has been softened this year - Pietersen was among the loudest of the dissenting voices aggrieved that he was being denied his piece of the pie.
At least England opener Alastair Cook has had the audacity to expose this Stanford affair for what it is - but many of his team-mates are staying ‘on message’, trying to talk up the importance of the game within a sporting reference.
Only last week, Pietersen (again), from the tax haven of Antigua, was talking about the importance of safeguarding Test cricket.
As usual, his comments were delivered with that malodorous mock sincerity normally associated with politicians, while neglecting to see the contradiction in playing a major part in the demise of the format.
Unbelievably, the England captain insisted his players be subdued in victory - and not behave like flash millionaires, like he does - because they were aware that many families were struggling due to the global financial crisis.
One thing is certain: England’s players will not be subdued if they win £600,000 a man - and nor should they be.
And, as for the future of Test cricket which everyone is so worried about, consider this: Sachin Tendulkar, whose popularity in India is such that it makes David Beckham look like Joey Barton, became the highest run-scorer in the history of the sport at Mohali some ten days ago.
He celebrated the achievement in front of a desperately sparse crowd, the kind which has been a feature of the series between Australia and India - the two best teams in the world.
The future looks bleak; many of Sri Lanka’s leading players are likely to arrive late in England next summer due to international Twenty20 commitments.
Still, in Stanford and Pietersen we trust.
Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp said that he wanted to do things his way at Spurs, which is why director of football Damien Comolli had to go along with Juande Ramos and Gus Poyet.
The former Portsmouth manager is an outspoken critic of the idea of directors of football, having had somewhat frosty relationships with Velimir Zajec at Pompey and Sir Clive Woodward at Southampton.
It didn’t stop him taking a job as one, though, at Fratton Park in 2001.