London: Andrew Flintoff, the former England allrounder, has revealed he battled depression during the 2006/07 Ashes whitewash in Australia. Flintoff, who retired from the game in 2010, also admitted he drank too much during the 2007 World Cup at which England were eliminated at the Super Eight stage.
"I was having a quiet drink with my dad Colin on Christmas Eve 2006 and, as we made our way home, I started crying my eyes out," Flintoff has said in an upcoming BBC1 documentary titled Hidden Side of Sport. "I told him I'd tried my best but that I couldn't do it anymore, I couldn't keep playing. We talked and, of course, I dusted myself down and carried on, but I was never the same player again."
"I was captain of England and financially successful. Yet, instead of walking out confidently to face Australia in one of the world's biggest sporting events, I didn't want to get out of bed, never mind face people."
Flintoff was infamously involved in a drunken escapade during the 2007 World Cup, when he fell off a Pedalo, after which he was stripped of the England captaincy. The 34-year-old recalled how he had considered retiring from cricket after drinking heavily in the Caribbean.
"The whole time I was on the field and throughout that World Cup all I could think about was that I wanted to retire. I didn't understand what was happening to me," he said. "I knew when I got back to my room I couldn't shut off, which is why I started having a drink. It got to the stage where I was probably drinking more than I should.
"All I wanted was for the doctor to tell me what was wrong but no one suggested it was depression. There's a certain sense of shame when I remember sitting in the dressing room after winning a one-day international in the West Indies. The lads were celebrating and I didn't want to be a part of it, I didn't want to do anything but sit on my own in the corner."