If there's one thing you don't want to be known as, it's "a great cricketer.".
The extra full stop behind that phrase is important. It's a code or euphemism to suggest nothing else adds depth to your personality. You simply know how to bat, bowl or field. Beyond that, you possess a cold heart or an idle brain.
Several of these candidates are lurking in the Australia-India test series. They're hard teams to like.
Phillip Hughes died and the cricketing fraternity grieved, especially within Australia.
The hashtag #putyourbatsout galvanised the international community. There was talk of the game changing forever and returning with a kinder spirit where hate and anger were superseded by camaraderie.
There have since been dramatic glances to the skies, the kissing of the ground where Hughes last batted and talk of wearing his playing number 408 on whites forever. However, the speed with which cricket has reverted to infantile on-field abuse across the Tasman suggests we witnessed a false dawn.
Shaking hands afterwards does not suffice, nor do cliches about "it's never personal, it's always a bit of fun" or "it's about fighting in the heat of battle for your country".
They shamelessly paper over the spite. And, if it's not spite, it's acting. Do cricket fans want to be watching a willow and leather version of professional wrestling?
Perhaps it's the pressure of playing for "great cricketing nations.". Australia and India, along with England, might be top of the money chain after the seizure of more power and revenue a year ago within the International Cricket Council, but that doesn't guarantee etiquette.
The trio dominate the thinking of less wealthy countries who are reluctant to bite the hand that feeds, but perhaps it's time some of their players grew up and looked at the spirit with which Sri Lanka and New Zealand played their test series - hard but fair cricket with what appeared minimal sledging.
Opposition players raced to shake the hands of Kumar Sangakkara and Kane Williamson after their respective double centuries and surely an icy Trent Boult post-delivery stare trumps a Mitchell Johnson verbal barrage?
Cricket is at its worst when good banter morphs into bad sledging. The trouble is, the line can blur.
PR-savvy phrases like "mental disintegration" and "psychological aggression" are trotted out to excuse personal abuse. The smirks and sneers of self-congratulation are cringeworthy as combatants make their verbal stings. The cricket fraternity doesn't possess many Jerry Seinfelds when it comes to delivering one-liners.
Sangakkara is renowned as a cerebral sledging exception. He has talked about the act as "a measured comment designed to get a reaction out of a player. It could be any reaction: a bit of anger, a show of arrogance, a comment, a shake of the head, or a slump of the shoulders. They could be saying something as simple as, 'let's leave a big gap there because he can't score through there'. Even if you are mentally strong and understand they are baiting you, it can still work in the mind."
In contrast to Sangakkara's insight, there's nothing clever about Mitchell Starc jumping up and down next to Murali Vijay after his dismissal last week, just as his peers Johnson and Shane Watson have done before him.
Cricket ponders why it has one of sport's worst mental health records. Watching the vitriol in the Australia-India series makes it self-explanatory.
Last year, the ICC attacked bowlers they believed were throwing. This year, their crusade should be to return cricket to a game of skill and sportsmanship, not sledging and slander.