20th June, India v South Africa, 09:30 GMT
We are all sometimes guilty of describing, for example, a batting collapse as a 'catastrophe' or calling an unfortunate injury a 'tragedy' but the events of last Tuesday, as unbelievable and shocking as they were, reminded us that such words should only really be used if the situation genuinely demands it.
Understandably, much of the focus was on the injured cricketers on the Sri Lankan coach, as for the first time, an established international cricket team was the target of a coordinated and brutal attack, but we must remember and pay our respects to the seven policemen and the bus driver who lost their lives, all in the course of doing their jobs. Chris Broad paid tribute to the deceased driver, calling him one of the loveliest men you could wish to meet and I have no doubt that similar tributes are being paid to the policemen who paid the ultimate price for doing their jobs.
For the families who have lost loved ones, cricket has fast become an irrelevance. In the immediate aftermath of the shootings, it became an irrelevance for everyone, and there was no chance that the series could continue. Chetan Narula wrote last week that he believes that this is the end of cricket in Pakistan as we know it and I tend reluctantly to agree, despite the fact that the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy Final passed off as scheduled over the weekend.
After 14 months without Test cricket, most commentators were delighted to see Sri Lanka travel and play Tests once again in Karachi and Lahore. It didn't really matter that the pitches prepared offered no hope of results but numbers such as Younus Khan's 313 and Pakistan's record 756 soon gave way to smaller, more poignant figures: seven dead, seven cricketers injured, one match official critically injured, three match officials all criticising the PCB for not providing adequate security.
Following 14 months without Test cricket, it will be something of a miracle if Pakistan hosts any international cricket within the next 14 years.
On the pitch, it is incredible how captaincy transforms individuals. Andrew Strauss, perhaps as a result of added security that now he is captain, his place in the side is not in jeopardy, has embarked on a golden run of form with the bat, but for his opposite number, Chris Gayle, something even more fascinating has happened.
One of the most flamboyant batsmen to have ever walked out into the middle, Gayle's tactics in attempting to draw the fifth and final Test against England almost from ball one, have come in for a lot of criticism.
Rather like his good friend Kevin Pietersen, you would half-expect his aggressive nature to lead him to field seven slips and two gullies but instead in this match he has almost ignored his strike bowlers, instead offering his part-timers the chance to restrict England by bowling to desperately defensive fields.
Strauss, Paul Collingwood and Matthew Prior were all patient enough to reach centuries and the plans may yet backfire for the home side. However, one must remember that the West Indies haven't won a series against a top flight team for seven years.
Before you can win, you have to ensure you don't lose, and all Gayle is doing is trying to win the series by throwing everythng, from picking an extra batsmen, to putting four men on the drive, into not losing this final Test. He is effectively saying to England: "You collapsed in Jamaica to lose, you force the pace to get back into the series."
Sometimes you have to win, or draw, ugly and while Gayle's tactics are far removed from the flavour of Caribbean cricket through the year, if it gets the desired result and begins an upward curve for the West Indies, he will once again be flavour of the month.
© Cricket World 2009
Cricket World Editor John Pennington, the 'voice' of Cricket World Radio, writes a weekly column on Mondays for www.cricketworld.com.