For quite a long while, we have scarcely had a day without its share of a few sportspersons, wherever they might have been and whatever the disciplines they represented, testing positive for the coronavirus.

Taken together with our general gleaning of information from a wide variety of sources detailing the blood-curdling physical distress the pandemic causes, it made us additionally sympathetic towards the victims, many of whom, quite thankfully, bounced back to normal life.

As public entertainers, sportspersons compel the heartfelt reaction even though no one, implying Mr Average Man, preyed on by the coronavirus should ever be denied the attention those probably only fortuitously unaffected owe them. But the week that is now at odds with the one we will now pass into yielded two real shockers.

World No 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, along with a few other easily recognisable peers of his, came to disclose his affliction after a tournament the superstar had organised himself, basically to give Europe’s tennis fans a taste of the game at a time when it was in suspended animation in the wake of the pandemic, with Wimbledon cancelled and the French Open and the US Open held over.

But having to hear of the 10 positive tests of Pakistan cricketers chosen for a tour of England was no less disconcerting, given that there were quite a few among those unfortunates who were not only very young and, from all accounts, richly talented but also eagerly waited for by the hosts, who had already arranged a chartered flight for the trip.

England is also ready with what is being called a bio-secure environment ~ Mark Wood says living in it akin to being in a science-fiction ambience ~ but the screaming headlines, once again, drove home the truth inherent in the age-old saying about there being so many slips between the cup and the lip.