The continuing love affair with Test cricket
Two things happened on Tuesday that summed up the tug-of-war between commercialism and tradition in international cricket.
In New Delhi, India captain Mahendra Dhoni signed a deal with a 'talent management company' that will net him a minimum of 2bn rupees (about £28.2m) over the next two years for a mind-boggling string of endorsements.
In London, the first neutral Test at Lord's since 1912 began, and a healthy crowd of nearly 15,000 turned up to watch Australia take on Pakistan. Pointedly, the two-match series is sponsored by the MCC itself in the absence of any interest from commercial partners.
There is no great love for Test cricket any more across so many of the countries where it is played, often in front of stadiums which are virtually empty and on wickets which reward only the most conservative cricket.
And yet in England, cricket fans remain defiantly fond of the old format, with its unpredictable ebb and flow, and those that turned up on a gloomy day that made the recent heatwave seem an illusion were rewarded for their loyalty with a thoroughly absorbing day.
Kaneria took two of the six wickets to fall between tea and stumps on Monday
Yes, Twenty20 is easy for the marketing men to package and sell on. Dhoni, who has led India to win the ICC World Twenty20 (in 2007) and Chennai to glory in this year's Indian Premier League, has become its standard-bearer, and thus cricket's richest performer.
But for 15,000 souls to turn up to a Test match on a grey Tuesday morning, when many don't even have a country to cheer for, is an encouraging enough gesture from the old school.
Political instability in Pakistan has put international cricket there on an enforced and indefinite sabbatical, leaving the players an essentially nomadic unit, many having not played Tests or one-day internationals in their homeland.
If that sounds bad enough, then it only gets worse when you consider what has happened in the past 12 months since Pakistan won the 2009 World Twenty20 - a miserable tour of Australia in the winter, reports of in-fighting, the coach and captain sacked, players banned, and no IPL deals for any players.
But England has provided intermittently happy memories in the past for them, not least last year's World Twenty20 success, and last week there were two exciting wins, again in Twenty20 format, when they were cheered on by some raucous supporters on successive evenings in Birmingham.
And so to Lord's, where Pakistan found themselves occupying the home dressing-room as they sought to end a run of 12 consecutive Test defeats against the men in baggy green caps.
It was hard to judge scientifically, but on the first day the crowd was probably split along the lines of 50% "neutral" fans (many privately supporting Australia), 30% Australians (a figure aided by the 400,000 ex-pats based in London) and 20% London-based Pakistan fans.
The MCC members did not turn out in huge numbers, a fact that could best be ascertained following a brief glance at the Coronation Garden at the lunch interval - normally such a busy hive of picnic activity that you can hardly move, this time there was space for children to play ball games.
The Pakistan fans I spoke to enjoyed the experience. They have three fine seam bowlers in Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul and they had the conditions to suit them on Tuesday.
Pakistan batsman Salman Butt was more muted in his appreciation.
At stumps on day one, he said: "I think it's very nice of the MCC to hold the series over here to help Pakistan cricket.
"But every player feels it's tough being away from home and even though it's a home series we don't have home advantage.
"It was really good to see some support for us but usually at Lord's it is not very lively like other grounds might be around the world. It is typical Lord's, the crowd will be like that always."
Butt appears not to be a fan of the MCC's strict ground regulations which ban "flags, banners, musical instruments, klaxons, rattles, fireworks and other articles which may constitute an annoyance to spectators".
Perhaps at Headingley, where the series moves on to next Wednesday, there will be more noise, perhaps even vuvuzelas.
But at Lord's on day one and early on day two, it was a quietly appreciative crowd. One friend described the experience as "like watching an exhibition match" - but he and many others certainly enjoyed it.