Cricket's caravan arrived in the West Indies with hope in the heart and ended up with blood on the floor.
The 2007 World Cup and cricket itself is in a state of such appalling infamy that we have on our hands the most compelling case - although certainly not the first - for the abandonment of a sporting world tournament.
Yes, there is a case for a final declaration: that cricket's 2007 World Cup is not only the worst, but should also be the last on the horizon.
The question has to be asked: what are the qualities which make the Olympics, football's World Cup, rugby's over-rated tournament and now cricket's clouded peak so essential.
Do we really need these monuments to grandiosity which are so susceptible to shame and disappointment?
Sport, in the end, is supposed to be enjoyable, yet its top table invariably involves a distasteful feast.
The killing of Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer has brought to the surface what many knowing cricket luminaries believe, that corruption lives on in cricket.
From Sarfraz Nawaz to Clive Rice to Michael Vaughan, they are pointing to the fix with nary a clue of how to fix it. Cricket cannot be trusted.
Whether Woolmer died at the hand of gamblers or not, the gambler's hand is still being played in this game. Cricketers have long carried their gear in "coffins" but who could believe that cricket would be carried away in one.
Since Woolmer was found on his hotel floor, this punter - for one - hasn't bothered to watch another World Cup game. It has been a heartbreaking time for Woolmer's family and friends, and for cricket lovers.
The problem for cricket now is that its World Cup has been exposed as a completely worthless exercise.
It is impossible to believe that whoever lifts the trophy has not somehow been assisted on to the podium by match-fixing, or the fixing of some elements of some matches.
One of the great joys of World Cups, a minnow tipping over a giant, has been removed because we can rightly assume that the heavyweight has been done in by punters and their cricket playing henchmen.
The one-day tournament was never the world championship of the game anyway. Test matches are still the ultimate test and in that, Australia remain the finest team in the game, no matter what happens in the West Indies.
One-day cricket, though, where every ball counts, is the lifeblood and as good an entertainment as you can find in sport today.
Tragically, it is subject to a cancerous fraud that has rendered the World Cup a sick joke. With every passing day, the feeling that the end in the Windies can't come soon enough increases.
The ICC chose to continue with this tournament in the aftermath of Woolmer's demise.
To have scrapped the tournament, to have so publicly succumbed to the evils that permeate their game, would have been a disaster to their minds.
A close and difficult call, but it has given the good people of cricket, in other words the majority, a deserved chance to bring their planning to fruition.
It should, unfortunately, be their last chance, although who would bet on a sport having the gumption to fully admit to its problems by scrapping this gigantic sham.
Where did world tournaments go wrong? Because they surely have.
Football's last World Cup ended in disgrace, with the greatest player of his generation, Frenchman Zinedine Zidane, headbutting an Italian opponent in the chest.
It was like a smack to the heart of all football lovers.
The incident exposed the strains of racism that exist in football, with the pathetic taunts that players use in the name of a supposedly noble cause.
But football's World Cup failed long before that. A game of freedom and skill had descended into a bore, as squillions of dollars worth of alleged talent often tied itself up chasing football's ultimate prize. If only we didn't take it all so seriously.
Then there are the Olympic Games, where no matter how fast anyone runs they are sure to be overtaken by a cheating controversy.
Competitors don't throw the result but the further they throw anything, the more suspect the result. And how, you have to ask, will Olympic morals respond should science render drug testing as useless?
As for rugby's World Cup, the price to be paid between tournaments - where the big picture that is the Webb Ellis Cup colours everything else - hardly seems worth it.
For all of their faults, at least football and rugby's world tournaments can claim that the best team won. Cricket has lost that right.
So cricket must examine its own corpse. Where to begin?
There has been a lamentable lack of common sense by people in powerful positions, including in this country.
The retrospective controversy involving Martin Crowe at the 1992 World Cup may have never come to light had it not been for an Indian investigation whose findings were released in 2000.
Crowe, having been duped by a bookmaker posing as a journalist into offering information, said he was shocked and disgusted and backed out on uncovering the ruse which he discovered involved fixing matches.
But beyond telling his team mate, Mark Greatbatch, at the time, it went no further.
I would argue most strongly that New Zealand Cricket, the ICC, and we the public deserved to know that a submarine of deception had lurked in our cricketing harbour, that it had sidled up to the national captain.
Surely an event worthy of shock and disgust was also worthy of at least a mention to the authorities, if only for Crowe's own protection. Inexplicable, to my mind.
Even worse was Australian cricket's decision to cover up the 1995 fining of Shane Warne and Mark Waugh for selling information, including potential team selections, to an Indian bookmaker.
The then head of Australian cricket, Malcolm Speed - who was not involved with Australian cricket at the time of the offences and handing down of punishments - only went public with the matter in 1998 after the media had found the trail. Speed is now the head of the ICC.
All along the way, over what the British investigator Sir Paul Condon described as three decades of corruption, cricket's movers and shakers have shown a reluctance to attack the problem with transparency, integrity and gusto. India, for instance, even restored their disgraced former captain Mohammed Azharuddin to its halls of fame over ICC objections.
And yet, you could probably argue that even had cricket shown better judgment, the problem would still exist. The criminal element is unlikely to have been deterred.
The heartbreaking truth is that if individual players want to try to fix games, or tailor their performances to the needs of gamblers, there is precious little Speed or anyone else can do prior to the event in some cases.
It's what happens next that has always been such a mystery. Why have the cricketers themselves, whose co-operation lies at the heart of these fraudulent operations, not faced the weight of the law? Why on earth didn't a rat like Hansie Cronje end up behind bars?
The necessary laws exist, surely, and if they don't, they should. Two years ago, a German soccer referee who admitted fixing games, who even offered the sort of apology that fails to find the lips of arrogant cricket swindlers, was sentenced to 29 months in the slammer.
Who knows if the threat of jail would act as a deterrent, but cheating cricketers should be incarcerated for no other reason than that's what society does to its fraudsters. And this is fraud on a major scale.
Cricket remains in a dark cell. Its showpiece is a sham.
No doubt Speed and his fellow administrators will soldier on, with a cash register ringing in their ears.
Quite frankly, though, it is time for cricket to pull up the World Cup stumps because there is no other way that public faith in the legitimacy of the tournament or the crowning of the champion can be restored.By Chris Rattue Email Chris