England opening batsman Marcus Trescothick has admitted he "fell out of love" with cricket last season.
Trescothick cut a relaxed figure at the Sydney Cricket Ground
The 30-year-old returned early from the tour of India and continued to struggle with a "stress-related illness" before opting out of the Champions Trophy.
"I knew towards the end of the season I needed a bit of a break. The summer wasn't good for me," he told BBC Sport.
"Dealing with all the pressures of the illness and trying to compete at a high level of sport is not easy to do."
Trescothick made a century in his first game for England after the India tour, against Sri Lanka at Lord's in May, but he was out-of-sorts for the rest of that Test series and the one against Pakistan.
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And, although he made one-day hundreds against Ireland and Sri Lanka, his form failed to pick up significantly in limited-overs cricket either.
When you start to fall out of love with something it's a bit scary at times
With his preparation for international games suffering, the left-hander said he had to take action.
"I knew something was wrong. I needed time away from playing - it was becoming hard work," the Somerset star explained.
"When you start to fall out of love with something you've been in love with for years it's a bit scary at times.
"To admit it to yourself is very tough but then having to tell other people about it you feel like you're weak, that people are going to perceive you in a certain manner.
"But it was the best thing for me, to get it out in the open, to tell people what was going on just so people would understand and give me the opportunity to get myself well, come back and start enjoying the game and doing well again."
When you've have had a rest it rekindles the buzz you've longed for all your career
With his batteries recharged, Trescothick is now relishing the start of the Ashes series in Australia.
He scored 431 in five Tests during England's triumph in 2005 and can't wait for the action to begin.
"I feel good - I'm itching to get going," the opener added.
"Having watched the guys out in India, the excitement when the team gets a wicket, I want to get back out there.
"When you've have had a rest it rekindles the buzz you've longed for all your career."