The terrifying injury to Phil Hughes will make any analysis or conjecture about Australia's four-Test series against India, which starts next week, difficult to stomach.
Hughes, felled by a bouncer in a Sheffield Shield contest, has become one of those sportsmen who, sickeningly and inadvertently, puts into context this game of bat and ball.
Before this young man became ill, there would have been much talk about Australia attempting to unsettle India with a battery of fast bowlers. And India trying to respond in kind. Such words now appear hollow and horrible.
Cricket has long flirted dangerously with injury to its protagonists. There have, of course, been deaths. The spine shivers when you consider there were so few serious injuries back in the day when there were no helmets.
Jeff Thomson used to salivate at the prospect of blood on the pitch. The old Bay 13 at the MCG used to rhythmically chant "kill, kill, kill". When the game has victims like Hughes, we all squirm in our seats at such recall.
We are also reminded about what an inherently dangerous occupation batting is. Sitting in our cosy armchairs, it is easy to forget that these brave fellows face down 90mph exocets without so much of a twitch.
Television pictures - improved immeasurably over the years - never have, and never will, do justice to the unique battle between batsman and bowler.
You can't hear the terrifying cacophony of the seam ripping through the air. And you can never fully understand the reaction time required to defend, let alone attack. We take another chunk from a biscuit or a slurp of a cup of tea. In that time a batsman stands to fight another delivery.
Indeed, it is a contest skewed in favour of the man with the hard red cherry, nostrils flared at the end of his run-up. The bowler can be embarrassed. His pride can be hurt if he is cut or pulled for a boundary or two. The batsman can lose everything.
Thoughts and prayers have been offered by friends and team-mates to Hughes' family and the Almighty and if Hughes shows even a slither of the guts he shows at the crease, then he will make a full recovery. Hughes is, as the Aussies would say, a 'fair dinkum' bloke. He is a man who had no enemies in the game and was popular all over the world.
He first made an impression in 2009 when at 20 he became the youngest man to score a Test century in both innings. That it came in only his second Test and against Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel on the green mamba at Durban says a lot about his on-field character.
Hughes was a sensation and the Australian media hailed him as a batting saviour who would take England's bowlers to task on the forthcoming tour. He signed for Middlesex and it was at his first press conference that those who were there were treated to his off-the-field character.
The youngster had time for everyone and with a polite, smart manner wise beyond his years, he sidestepped the tedious attempts by journalists to get him to goad England with the pre-Ashes bombast for which Aussies are known.
His career stalled somewhat after such a stratospheric start - hardly surprising, how do you keep that up? - and it is a crying shame that before his injury he was on the cusp of a return to the Australia squad for this series.
No doubt Australia's players will find it difficult to focus on the job coming up. A muted affair should be expected between two teams who normally rile each other to such a degree that the game is brought into disrepute.
There will be no such shenanigans this time around. And as Hughes fights and, God willing, gets well perhaps there won't be any shenanigans for some time.
The tiresome posturing by players, on the field and off it through the media, the scurrilous use of sledging and threats to break bones has no place in the sport. It does a disservice to the honourable joust between two men, 22 yards apart. And it does a disservice to blokes like Phil Hughes.
Australia v India series odds: Australia 1.232/9, India 8.615/2, draw 8.07/1
Australia v India stat pack
- Australia win % at home last five years: 68
- Australia win % at home v India: 65
- Australia have won three of their last five home series
- They have won 12 of their last 15 Tests at home
- They beat India 4-0 in 2011
- India win % away last five years: 21
- India win % in Australia: 12.5
- India have lost six of their last eight in Australia by the following margins: 9 wkts/337 runs/122/122/inns&68/inns&37/298
- With a win-loss ratio of 0.192 Australia is India's least successful tour
- India have won three of their last 22 series outside Asia against top-eight sides. A sequence dating back to 1989.
- Two wins came against minnow-like West Indies teams
Australia: Michael Clarke (c), Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Chris Rogers , Peter Siddle, Steve Smith, David Warner, Shane Watson
India: MS Dhoni (c), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, M Vijay, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Wriddhiman Saha, Naman Ojha*, R Ashwin, Karn Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron.
*First Test only