Jonathan Trott's Ashes exit rocked England - and left countless questions about his future unanswered.
In an exclusive television interview for Sky Sports, to be shown this Sunday at 7pm, he gives an unprecedented insight into his guilty feelings about leaving the tour, his reaction to accusations of weakness and how England can move on following the departures of Andy Flower and Kevin Pietersen...
Speaking publicly for the first time since he came home from Australia, Trott reveals how hard he fought to stay on the Ashes tour and opens up about his life. Here's a taster...
Trott on... the pressure of playing
I remember driving from Old Trafford to Durham for the fourth Test [of the 2013 Ashes]. It's normally quite a nice drive, and I just wasn't feeling right, I was just constantly thinking about cricket. Normally you can just switch on the radio... and you just get yourself into a position where away from cricket you are not the same person... When you rock up at a ground [in Australia], the cameras are there, the spectators, 50,000 people wanting to see you fail, everybody in the media scrutinising every move; you need to have a mental and emotional resilience to that and I just think I wasn't there. Going to the cricket ground it was quite hard to do, keeping emotionally intact and in the right frame of mind. I realised at Brisbane, because of the scrutiny of five Test matches, I wasn't going to be in the right space.
Trott on... leaving the Ashes
It was my decision to come home. It was really weird, I woke up in Hong Kong and the news was about to break in Australia. I'd left so it was really strange, and then the guys walked out at Adelaide and things didn't go well and a feeling of guilt started kicking in. I'd experienced a lot of success with England and a lot of good times and not many bad times. Seeing the guys struggling out there was pretty tough in that I should have been there going through the tough times. That was the hardest thing for me to be in contact with the guys and them thinking he's at home with the central heating on and watching it on TV. That was probably the toughest thing: being at home while the other guys are getting a bit of a barrage in Australia and I'm what felt like a million miles away from it.
Trott on... David Warner's 'weak' comments
I was already out so it didn't make a difference. Those sort of things don't really bother me, as I said, I didn't have the mental energy to fight it, I had to just take a step back, my emotional energy was gone. Anxiety, it accentuates everything, the slight faults and creates bigger faults, and then you think your technique's gone, and you try and work at the technique but it's actually the mental side of the game you need to work at, so it's all quite a vicious circle. And that's when you need the mental strength to say, "hold on I'm actually ok, my technical side's fine, I need to play a round of golf or just sit at the movies". To be able to do that is mental strength - not being able to face a spell of 90mph or turning square on an Indian wicket.
Trott on... the end of an era
Andy [Flower] was very successful as England coach. Kevin [Pietersen] had the ability to change a game in a session - the innings I saw him play; you can look back to Mumbai and Colombo, away from home conditions, and those fantastic innings. Graeme [Swann] just won games on his own with the ball, with the support of Jimmy [Anderson] and Broady [Stuart Broad]. It's a huge loss for English cricket but there are potential spots for guys who've been working really hard in county cricket to come in and stake a claim.
It's really important that players know that starting the season is going to be really important and guys have got to work really hard to stay there if they get the opportunity.
Trott on... his role in a new era
I hope I don't have to bowl anymore! Hopefully someone else bowls Swanny's overs but number three is important. The amount of times I came in and then Kev came in and we batted together where he took the pressure right off and started middling it from ball one - there were numerous occasions, plenty. I think Belly [Ian Bell] will probably move up to number four, hopefully, so we've got a very capable person and batter stepping into Kev's role and the numbers five and six are probably up for grabs so the future looks bright but it's all about delivering. It's nice sitting here talking about it but once you get out there it's exactly the opposite.
Trott on... his return to cricket
Well, the first first-class game will be against Oxford at Oxford and that's always nice to go back and play against universities; it'll be like starting the season with Warwickshire when I was just a county cricketer. It's always an exciting time and hopefully it'll be like that for me. There's a few warm up games here and there before that happens but it's all about just getting back into the rhythm of being with the guys, part of the team, just one of the guys again. The ECB are very easy with how I go about the approach in that I'll just go back and play for Warwickshire and see how it goes there and they'll report back to the ECB. I feel I've got a bit of unfinished business with England and also repaying people's trust and the work people have put in with me in the last four months.
I want to get back and start competing. It's a big year coming up with the World Cup and five Tests against India, there's going to be pressure again so I realise what I'm going into. It's up to the selectors; I think we're all in the same boat with regards to selection besides from a few guys that are definitely going to play. There's a few positions up for grabs so the beginning of the season is going to be really important for everyone, not just me.
You can watch the full story in the documentary 'Jonathan Trott: Burn Out' at 7pm, Sunday night on Sky Sports 1