The second Test between England and Pakistan beginning tomorrow (July 22) at Old Trafford has acquired a strange tension, which is vastly more intense and different from the buzz surrounding the crowd reaction to Mohammed Amir's return to the stage where he had let the cricketing world down.
England cricket supporters will not doubt lament the defeat to Pakistan at Lords over the weekend as what might have been. Chris Woakes came out as a hero in defeat and there were cameos from some of the batsmen but no hundreds to match that of Misbah Ul Haq that might have made the difference.
I managed to watch quite a bit of the recent series between the England and Pakistan Women's cricket team. Whilst Pakistan are a team growing into women's cricket, there were some fabulous performances on the England side, particularly with the bat.
I was one of those child cricketers who used to run it to bowl at 100mph and bowl about 50mph. My idols at the time were the likes of Waqar Younis and Allan Donald and the West Indies at the time were still in their relative heyday of pace bowling even if they were reliant on the greats, Ambrose and Walsh.
As the Second Test in Perth limps towards yet another high-scoring draw, we must act with a dose of empathy and a pinch of foresight towards the game of cricket worldwide. If not, we risk losing that bastion of the English summer to the condescension of posterity.
If Waitrose really is prepared to abandon all of its principles for a few corporate boxes at important sporting events, then why not go the whole way? Why not get behind Sepp Blatter's FIFA? The opportunities for Waitrose, post-ECB, are endless.
KP is currently one of the world's top batsmen and if the England team was selected on merit he would be in it. The Aussies will be rubbing their hands with glee that they are not going to have to face him this summer.
Even if England qualify by beating Afghanistan and Bangladesh, the later no certainty, they have a huge amount of catching up to do, about 4 years on and off the pitch of catching up condensed into just a couple of weeks. To get past the quarter finals and complete in limited overs cricket in the future. I just hope we see some changes before their next game...
The ECB has still not said officially why he was sacked. It seems almost a small and inconsequential detail at this point, so much water having passed beneath the bridge and so many daggers having been placed so expertly between so many shoulderblades. But it is the most important detail of all.
As I sat there watching the last few seconds tick ever closer to confirming England's place a-top of the Women's Rugby Union World, I asked, we aren't that bad at sport are we? ... we are actually in a golden period for British sport. If you go through the most popular sports in the UK, you will find we have world beaters everywhere, including football.
What should worry the mandarins of the game in its country of birth, however, is the complete lack of purpose and direction of the current team. The immediate task for England is simple - do not allow India to win any more tests in the series, and win at least one for itself.
On paper, a group of ageing middle class men wittering on for eight hours about a sport where very little can happen for five days straight doesn't sound like radio gold, however the BBC has turned it into an art form.
Under such tremendous scrutiny, the pressure on Cook to perform, both personally and as a leader - a role for which his insular personality seems ill-suited - may be too great. Perhaps, in the modern era, the job of England cricket captain really is impossible.
Poor old Jonathan Agnew, the BBC's once universally loved voice of cricket. It would be wrong to say he has failed these last six months to hold the ECB to account, because that would imply he had tried to...
The ECB, whether it likes it or not, is not North Korea. It cannot disappear people without explanation, nor can it lie to the public about maladies afflicting key apparatchiks without facing repercussion of any sort.
Pietersen is arguably the most talented English player of the modern era. Simply by looking at his statistics it's clear to see that he was on the way to smashing the record book and becoming an England legend. However, look past the statistics and some would say you'd find an enigmatic talent, unwilling to adapt his game or listen to authority.