Just as stunned New Zealand cricketers and their followers have to try to play their game today against Australia while most of their thoughts must necessarily reside with their neighbours and loved ones in Christchurch, so Ireland will take the field against Bangladesh as their compatriots at home make their way to the polling stations in the most important election in that country ever.
Nor can or should anyone watching the string of more often than not ill-matched early round contests be deaf and blind to the struggles for survival against a manic tyrant in Libya, or the quests for freedom, democracy and opportunity of the vast majorities who have achieved at least the early phases of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.
Against such backdrops of human suffering, life changing decision making and bravery cricket matches pale into insignificance.
Who cares if Ponting shows his infantile petulance by ramming his bat through a television set because he misjudged a run when a young athlete threw a cricket ball sixty meters with such accuracy that it landed within centimetres of the bails?
Who cares if one side wins and another loses?
Today in New Zealand rescue morphs into recovery and a shocked citizenry begin their long, long road back to confidence, as summer turns to autumn, heralding the bleak winter of the mind where, incredibly, the life force is yet stirring however unlikely that now seems.
Today in Ireland, a public will take a democratic vengeance on those leaders who allowed greed to go unchecked, unquestioned, unregulated and left the powerless unprotected.
Today acts of immensely brave defiance will occur in countries dominated by dictatorships and autocrats that ‘til yesterday were propped up by western politicians whose hypocrisy and carefree commitment to democracy has left them as unbalanced as a Kanhai hook.
Today ramifications from the oil markets will influence the chances for global economic recovery and thus affect the lives of untold millions. Not one country represented in the ICC World Cup 2011 will be unaffected.
Cricket can be an escape, a reverie that shuts out something more painful. Cricket, throughout this tournament, must not distract. It must help us focus on the significant.
Cricketers must conduct themselves with dignity as a mark of respect and support for all those who face uncharted uncertainties and challenges that make the vagaries of a cricket match look truly inconsequential.
By Final Day on 2nd April the world will be a very different place and it will not be cricketers who make it so.