It's been quite a week, with Brian Lara and George Best proving that true genius is at the mercy of a behavioural genie, whose personal cork never remains in the bottle for long.
Then there was Shahid Afridi, whose soft-shoe shuffle in Multan was a throwback to Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and would have done credit to Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly. And, finally, a verbal punch-up between coaches Bob Woolmer and Duncan Fletcher in the hotel in which the England and Pakistan cricket teams are staying in Lahore.
Fletcher makes the Sphinx look and sound like Kevin Pietersen. That makes the public slanging match even more remarkable, but it followed Woolmer's charge against England that the Steve Harmison "run-out" of Imzamam-ul-Haq was a juvenile action which has no part in modern cricket.
Normally, Fletcher has a thick skin, often verging on the impenetrable, so full marks to Woolmer for getting beneath it. The incident should make for an interesting final Test starting in Lahore tomorrow.
The pity is that it will be a four-day contest - not by design, but because of the constraints imposed by playing in Pakistan three weeks short of the winter solstice. The entire itinerary has been a joke, with never a chance of playing the scheduled 450 overs comprising a daily minimum of 90 overs.
England only had to face 48 overs in their second innings in Multan, instead of the scheduled 65 and the five day total fell short of 400. That was with a 9.30am start local time, but the Lahore Test starts at 10am because of a heavy dew problem, while the light fades even more quickly in late afternoon.
That takes out a further two- and- a- half hours - around 32 overs at the pathetic rate achieved by both sides - leaving a maximum of 360 overs in a game England must win if they are to avoid their first series defeat for two years.
The draw odds of around evens are an open cheque to readers to augment their pension - unless England's batting deteriorates even more. Andrew Strauss is now back home; Michael Vaughan and Ashley Giles follow him next Sunday, with the rest of the party giving the impression that they have drawn a short straw by having return air tickets dated December 22.
Back to Lara the best and Best the best. Lara is now the heaviest runscorer in Test cricket and it is a monumental effort to pass Allan Border's aggregate of 11,174 in 52 fewer innings in 35 fewer matches - that is seven five day series.
Equally staggering is that he is over 1,000 runs ahead of Sachin Tendulkar in only 15 more innings, although two fewer Tests.
And yet... Lara's genius is limited exclusively to when he has a bat in his hand. He has been given and relieved of the captaincy more than once, because of his intolerance of the failings of others and a refusal to toe any administrative line with which he disagrees. His time-keeping in the 1990s was nothing short of an arrogant contempt for his playing colleagues - he had missed over 20 long-haul flights before his mid-20s.
Dermot Reeve was his Warwickshire captain and his disaffection with his overseas star is well chronicled - especially at Taunton, where he failed to arrive in time to play in a key game because of yet another missed flight from Trinidad.
That earned him a record club fine of £2,000 and an insistence that he apologise publicly to his colleagues and the club membership, many of whom had travelled to Taunton.
Then there was the Allan Donald incident at the end of a series when the fast bowler asked Lara to autograph a pair of batting gloves for his benefit the following year - only to get a knock-back which infuriated Donald.
Whenever he leaves West Indies cricket, it will be in a worse state than when he started and, while his prodigious batting talent might still command respect in the dressing room, his personality does not.
This correspondent had several brushes with him in his county career, mainly because this newspaper carried reports of his many aberrations off the field as well as giving unstinting praise to his phenomenal batting feats.
Conversation was almost non-existent when we met on the international circuit - hence my surprise in Trinidad on the last England tour when he went out of his way to talk to me and was happy - even eager - for me to interview him on radio.
And so to the greatest footballer to come from Great Britain. Best's funeral in Belfast later this week will equal any State ceremony seen in that city and no sportsman's death has filled so many column inches - nay feet, or even yards - as Best's.
I worked for Wolverhampton Wanderers in the winters of the 1960s while I was still playing for Warwickshire and have one playing memory. Wolves were playing Manchester United in a FA Cup tie and we were all looking forward to seeing the teenager who had already taken the First Division by storm.
At 2.45pm I saw him casually chatting at the main entrance with friends, dressed in sports jacket and drainpipes, so felt safe in telling everyone that he wasn't playing. But, oh, yes he was. As former goalkeeper Alex Stepney explained a few days ago: "In those days, we didn't warm up on the pitch and we all had different routines for changing. Some were ready half-an-hour early and were quiet. Others were a bit later, but George took the biscuit.
"He didn't start until ten minutes before the kick-off and we were always called by the ref at 2.55 when he was still putting on his boots."
Wolves went 2-0 up after a few minutes, but the inevitable United revival (they won the game 4-2) started with an amazing Best-Denis Law move which started with a fluke. Law chased a Wolves through-ball back towards his own penalty area and, from the right-hand corner of the box, volleyed a clearance diagonally over his shoulder.
It could have gone anywhere, but flew unerringly to the feet of Best on the right flank near the halfway line. He sprinted his way to the corner flag, beating three defenders with tight control and, just before someone raced across to kick him into touch, he drove a cross back and towards the penalty spot. A couple of Wolves players had it covered, only for a diving red shirt to bullet home an unstoppable header.
Almost miraculously, inside that red shirt was the same Law who had started the move over 60 yards away but smelt the goal chance when he saw Best had the ball.
Law said this yesterday. "He gave the ball so seldom, I blame him for my knee troubles. He would beat man after man and I would move first one way, then another, trying to anticipate when it would come. I did more twists and turns without the ball than I did with it."
Sir Bobby Charlton agreed. "He would never give it and one day when I lost my cool, I started to shout "you greedy... when he suddenly let fly from an impossible angle and found the top corner. I remember Ron 'Chopper' Harris trying to take him off at the knees, but he wouldn't go down. He didn't want a free-kick because he didn't want to waste a chance of a goal."
If only the divers of today could have watched him.
Old Trafford training sessions used to have spells of one-touch football, but the teenage wonder used to hog the ball, so they made it twotouch. It made no difference, because Best pioneered the wall-pass off the shins of the tackler and claimed he should still have two more touches!
The last word goes to Sir Bobby Robson. "He could beat everyone on the pitch, but couldn't beat himself off it."
The football genius of all has gone, because that cork could never keep the destructive genie in the bottle.