England news January 1, 2012

Flintoff reveals battle with depression

ESPNcricinfo staff
45

Andrew Flintoff, the former England captain and allrounder, has revealed he went through a phase of depression during the 2006-07 Ashes in Australia, where, as captain, he was at the receiving end of a 5-0 whitewash. Flintoff admitted he wasn't aware then of what exactly he was suffering from, but the illness drove him to drink and lose his love for the game.

A year earlier, Flintoff was the toast of the nation for helping England regain the Ashes after 18 years.

Flintoff is now among several high-profile cricketers, particularly from England, who've been plagued by the illness during their playing careers. Flintoff, who quit the game in 2009, will explore the problems suffered in private by sportsmen in a BBC 1 documentary: Freddie Flintoff: Hidden Side of Sport.

"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 told the Daily Mail. "I told him I'd tried my best but that I couldn't do it any more, 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 took over the captaincy from the injured Michael Vaughan after the 2005 Ashes win and enjoyed mixed results. He helped England square the Test series in India in 2006 and the expectations grew when England landed in Australia at the end of the year. It was also the same series in which his team-mate Marcus Trescothick suffered a breakdown at the start of the tour due to depression and separation anxiety and never played for England again after that.

I didn't understand what was happening to me. 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

After leading England to a come-from-behind win in the one-day tri-series in Australia, Flintoff handed the captaincy back to Vaughan before the World Cup. Flintoff was stripped of the vice-captaincy after a drunken night out following England's defeat against New Zealand in a World Cup match in St Lucia, which culminated in falling off a pedalo.

"The whole time I was on the field and throughout that World Cup all I could think about was that I wanted to retire," Flintoff said. "I didn't understand what was happening to me. 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."

He said his condition was so serious that even victory meant nothing. "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," he said. "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.'

Cases of depression in modern sport aren't uncommon and Flintoff admitted that he wasn't as aware of the problem as he should have been. "Because sporting stars earn high salaries and have a privileged life compared to the majority of people, there's a perception that they can't possibly suffer from mental health issues. They don't want to seem ungrateful or whingeing and may be hiding their suffering rather than getting help for it."

Besides Trescothick, other England players who've admitted suffering from depression include Flintoff's close friend Steve Harmison, Michael Yardy and Matthew Hoggard. New Zealand players Iain O'Brien and Lou Vincent have also suffered similar problems.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • AlanHarrison on January 4, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    @atthipatti: No offence taken. If I can try and explain the high opinion in which Flintoff is held in certain quarters, notwithstanding his limited (but not poor) overall career statistics, I would observe two things. Firstly Flintoff contributed very largely to England's first win in an Ashes series for18 years in 2005, and (to fans of other teams' consternation) England fans tend to place too much emphasis on what happens in the Ashes, so that they overlook Flintoff's struggles against other opponents. Secondly there has been some massaging of Flintoff's reputation (in which Flintoff is only partly complicit). The way he's been talked up in the media has turned him into a sort of cross between Hercules, Oliver Reed and Stephen Hawking, i.e., a successful sportsman notwithstanding laddish exploits and private pain. It's suggestive that what he seems to be doing here is plugging his BBC programme 'Hidden side of sport', using the medium of the Daily Mail ..

  • atthipatti on January 4, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    I seriously don't understand the "legend" part of Flintoff though! One or 2 serious series contributions have never made anybody legend....remember Lee Germon scoring 89 vs Aussies in Chennai in 1996 WC and disappeared for good? Flintoff is the same, but of a superior category/version of Lee Germon. No offence, no need to come ballistic...just was an opinion. Had he escaped his injuries part, he would surely have been among the likes of top all rounders like Kallis, Sanga, Gilli etc.

  • KingOwl on January 4, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    Murali always talked highly of Freddie. So I assume Freddie is a good bloke. It's a shame that tough things happen to good people all too often. I think if all those who have depression were accurately diagnosed, we will find the numbers among sportsmen to be extremely high.

  • fataquie on January 3, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    This is really amazing! I feel stressed out trying to meet the expectations of a handful of team members and bosses whereas these crickets, with all their gloom, had a burden of expectations not just from their countrymen but all cricket lovers! When Flintoff was on top, all not just the Brits, expected him to be instrumental, when Tendulkar walks in to bat, not just Indians all crickets want to see him score many many runs, when Afridi comes to bat, all want to see him score a six off every ball and on and on....but we forget the instant they fail us and we start commenting about their failure, forgetting they are afterall, humans like us!

  • AlanHarrison on January 3, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    @ LillianThomson: Though some people may suggest you are an Australian wind-up merchant, I do think you have a point. What Flintoff is describing here, while painful, is not necessarily depression. I also don't think that the current media hype regarding depression in sport (and elsewhere) is actually helpful in terms of understanding or treating mental illness more widely. There are a huge range of mental illnesses, some of which are far less well understood than depression. To focus on depression can lead people to misunderstand what their problems are and to trivialise other difficulties.

  • AlanHarrison on January 3, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    @ TRexGotPhD: Actually if you watch closely Rocky Balboa is actually portrayed as quite a sensitive chap in those films: when his wife goes into a coma in the second film he almost completely went to pieces. But otherwise I do take your point.

  • AlanHarrison on January 3, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Well, I think Flintoff has a point that people tend to assume too much that modern professional sports players have some how got it made and don't suffer from great pressures. There are unfortunate cases of depression in sport. And I do give him some credit in being prepared to talk about how the pressure got to him during that Ashes series. However, I really am not sure that what he is describing comprised depression. I think depression, which is an illness which can be clinically diagnosed, is not the same as having moments where you crack up in a high-stress situation. It's significant that no doctor told Flintoff was depressed. While he treats this here as a failure on the part of doctors, surely it's possible that the doctor didn't disgnose depression because he/she realised that Flintoff had a slightly different problem.

  • satish619chandar on January 3, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    What a transformation he had as a cricketer.. He gave his all to become a terrific bowler who will give his everything each ball.. A good hitter and he did play some dramatic innings in test as well as ODIs.. I love his attitude.. Never did he utter a tired delivery.. Best example for supreme fighting qualities.. Just love him.. What a hero he had been for England..

  • on January 2, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    cricket is psychological largely. momentum... is a psychological concept 5 days of psychological warfare and strategy

    unless the respective boards appreciate this fact... it will plague each and every territory

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid; you really haven't got a clue have you.

  • AlanHarrison on January 4, 2012, 12:16 GMT

    @atthipatti: No offence taken. If I can try and explain the high opinion in which Flintoff is held in certain quarters, notwithstanding his limited (but not poor) overall career statistics, I would observe two things. Firstly Flintoff contributed very largely to England's first win in an Ashes series for18 years in 2005, and (to fans of other teams' consternation) England fans tend to place too much emphasis on what happens in the Ashes, so that they overlook Flintoff's struggles against other opponents. Secondly there has been some massaging of Flintoff's reputation (in which Flintoff is only partly complicit). The way he's been talked up in the media has turned him into a sort of cross between Hercules, Oliver Reed and Stephen Hawking, i.e., a successful sportsman notwithstanding laddish exploits and private pain. It's suggestive that what he seems to be doing here is plugging his BBC programme 'Hidden side of sport', using the medium of the Daily Mail ..

  • atthipatti on January 4, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    I seriously don't understand the "legend" part of Flintoff though! One or 2 serious series contributions have never made anybody legend....remember Lee Germon scoring 89 vs Aussies in Chennai in 1996 WC and disappeared for good? Flintoff is the same, but of a superior category/version of Lee Germon. No offence, no need to come ballistic...just was an opinion. Had he escaped his injuries part, he would surely have been among the likes of top all rounders like Kallis, Sanga, Gilli etc.

  • KingOwl on January 4, 2012, 1:31 GMT

    Murali always talked highly of Freddie. So I assume Freddie is a good bloke. It's a shame that tough things happen to good people all too often. I think if all those who have depression were accurately diagnosed, we will find the numbers among sportsmen to be extremely high.

  • fataquie on January 3, 2012, 21:11 GMT

    This is really amazing! I feel stressed out trying to meet the expectations of a handful of team members and bosses whereas these crickets, with all their gloom, had a burden of expectations not just from their countrymen but all cricket lovers! When Flintoff was on top, all not just the Brits, expected him to be instrumental, when Tendulkar walks in to bat, not just Indians all crickets want to see him score many many runs, when Afridi comes to bat, all want to see him score a six off every ball and on and on....but we forget the instant they fail us and we start commenting about their failure, forgetting they are afterall, humans like us!

  • AlanHarrison on January 3, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    @ LillianThomson: Though some people may suggest you are an Australian wind-up merchant, I do think you have a point. What Flintoff is describing here, while painful, is not necessarily depression. I also don't think that the current media hype regarding depression in sport (and elsewhere) is actually helpful in terms of understanding or treating mental illness more widely. There are a huge range of mental illnesses, some of which are far less well understood than depression. To focus on depression can lead people to misunderstand what their problems are and to trivialise other difficulties.

  • AlanHarrison on January 3, 2012, 13:08 GMT

    @ TRexGotPhD: Actually if you watch closely Rocky Balboa is actually portrayed as quite a sensitive chap in those films: when his wife goes into a coma in the second film he almost completely went to pieces. But otherwise I do take your point.

  • AlanHarrison on January 3, 2012, 12:35 GMT

    Well, I think Flintoff has a point that people tend to assume too much that modern professional sports players have some how got it made and don't suffer from great pressures. There are unfortunate cases of depression in sport. And I do give him some credit in being prepared to talk about how the pressure got to him during that Ashes series. However, I really am not sure that what he is describing comprised depression. I think depression, which is an illness which can be clinically diagnosed, is not the same as having moments where you crack up in a high-stress situation. It's significant that no doctor told Flintoff was depressed. While he treats this here as a failure on the part of doctors, surely it's possible that the doctor didn't disgnose depression because he/she realised that Flintoff had a slightly different problem.

  • satish619chandar on January 3, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    What a transformation he had as a cricketer.. He gave his all to become a terrific bowler who will give his everything each ball.. A good hitter and he did play some dramatic innings in test as well as ODIs.. I love his attitude.. Never did he utter a tired delivery.. Best example for supreme fighting qualities.. Just love him.. What a hero he had been for England..

  • on January 2, 2012, 22:40 GMT

    cricket is psychological largely. momentum... is a psychological concept 5 days of psychological warfare and strategy

    unless the respective boards appreciate this fact... it will plague each and every territory

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 21:57 GMT

    @Lord_Dravid; you really haven't got a clue have you.

  • NBRADEE on January 2, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Perhaps the comments made by Gayle about the treatment of Sarwan, who ostensibly was coming off of his best years in every form of the game can be put in focus with this introverted look at professional cricket? Lara took time off from the game for reasons that were also personal - when will the WICB create the right environment for a successful cricket team?

  • PakCric786 on January 2, 2012, 16:21 GMT

    He is a great player and I really wish to see him play again.. Everyone have their ups & downs but you have to face em and come back stronger. Well where ever you are Freddy be happy and best of luck for the future.. From an Pakistani fan!

  • TRexGotPhD on January 2, 2012, 14:42 GMT

    It takes a brave man to explore this issue, and I salute Freddie for doing this. The problem is in the perception of people - how many people & cricket coaches would think that the trouble with a 6'4, 100 kilo giant is "depression"? People forget that regardless of their stature as macho men bowling at 150 kmph, these men are also normal people. They may behave as Rocky Balboas in the field but off of it they need protection as everybody.

  • Lord_Dravid on January 2, 2012, 14:25 GMT

    i agree that flintoff was a very charasmatic, passionate player and played wth all his heart and helped eng win one or two memorable series but that dosent make him a legend all of a sudden does it? if all of you are saying he's a legend your degrading stars such as bradman, tendulkar, dravid, warne, lara and co.

  • screamingeagle on January 2, 2012, 13:44 GMT

    @Ohh Matty matty, I cannot express in words how thankful we are to English cricket for resurrecting the game over the years. :P

  • unregisteredalien on January 2, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    Meh. I don't wish to sound unsympathetic, but to borrow a phrase we have here in Hong Kong, "I have pressure, you have pressure". If it's life, deal with it. If it's medical, treat it. If you can't hack the pressure that comes with the position, which may involve backing up past successes, get out of the kitchen. You did alright. But whining and relevance deprivation syndrome are not becoming.

  • very_stupid_point on January 2, 2012, 13:02 GMT

    Depression is a part of everyday life for people all around the world. Whilst I have a lot of respect for what Andrew put himself through and sacrificed for cricket, we must make sure that no group of depression-sufferers (e.g. sportspeople, celebrities, entertainers) get special attention. Of course, I hope that he can resolve whatever problems he has (or had), but the truth is, there may be millions of people worldwide who don't have the support network he does and have to suffer more as a result.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 2, 2012, 10:11 GMT

    If Flintoff was suffering from depression, and there are signs he was, its a shame that Fletcher and the support staff didnt do anything, the same applies to Trescothick.....However, I honestly dont beleive Flintoff should have been made captain in the first place, and this is probably the straw that broke his back. @Lillian Thompson, quite true, and they did try that with Tresco before he annonced his retirement from internationals. Flintoff reitred because his knees and ankles where shot not because of depression. I also beleive that KP has been suffering with Depression since 2008/9, as hes been showing some of the classic signs of the illness.

  • atthipatti on January 2, 2012, 9:24 GMT

    Legend or nor or whatever, I liked this guy Freddie Flintoff.

  • on January 2, 2012, 9:11 GMT

    Lord_Dravid...Freddie has been a vital part in England's success as a team...one of the few players who played with utmost passion even when in pain...you should take the fact into consideration that before 2005 Ashes he never got the opportunities and after that he suffered a lot of injuries an u cant blame a player for that. No matter how much he played...Freddie was and always will be a legend.

  • kabe_ag7 on January 2, 2012, 7:19 GMT

    @OhhhMattyMatty - "Tendulkar learnt to bat properly at Yorkshire" by playing 16 county matches? Of course.

  • ygkd on January 2, 2012, 7:16 GMT

    The common view is that cricket is a game played on grassy ovals. It isn't. It is played between the ears and, unfortunately, just as technically proficient players suffer batting, bowling or fielding lapses, so too can "very together" cricketers quite understandably suffer depression while playing the game at elite level for it takes a lot, mentally, to stay at the top. I must admit to being a bit surprised - not by Andrew Fliontoff's depression, but by his talking about it. There is way too much stigma attached to this disease. Honestly, just try writing depression-sufferer on your resume and see what that does for your career, for starters. Hats off to Flintoff for speaking up about it. Hopefully, this article will help others and maybe break down a few stereotypical attitudes. Is that asking too much?

  • Nish8738 on January 2, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    The most feared all rounder ever!!! go freddiee i wish you could make a come back again you were the only reason i ever watched english cricket!!! you are a champ!! dont let yourself down. cheers

  • thecricketlover on January 2, 2012, 6:22 GMT

    This is true that stats are not as good as a world class all-rounder should have, but one of his bowling spell during Ashes in England was very hostile and after wasim, waqar eara I saw a true exhibition of fast bowling that produced by Flintoff a true crowd puller and personality from England after great Ian Botham not a great finish of international career sadly

  • RandyOZ on January 2, 2012, 5:21 GMT

    Prolly still struggling to comprehend the 5-0 whitewash, only the second in Ashes series history, that Asutralia delt to him and his team in 06-07, which effectively ended his, and many of his team mates careers. Get well soon Fred.

  • LillianThomson on January 2, 2012, 4:57 GMT

    I'm a psychiatrist by profession in Australia, and have to say that from afar the diagnosis and treatment of some of the high-profile "depression" cases in cricket looks appallingly incompetent. In fact, it looks typical of the "professorial treatment" English celebrities often get from academics who dabble as occasional and generally incompetent clinicians. Depression is a very treatable condition and really shouldn't drive more than a miniscule fraction of sufferers out of international cricket long-term. Anxiety is a different but equally treatable condition and shouldn't drive ANYONE out of international cricket - an essential component of its treatment is graded exposure so that the sufferer learns to handle and master the feared situation. If a player's level of function (e.g. being able to play away) does not return, then the treatment is either wrong or a failure. And if the treating doctor is colluding with long-term avoidance, then he or she is actually harming the patient.

  • TATTUs on January 2, 2012, 1:15 GMT

    Or wait! Is this another excuse for 5 zilch!?

  • landl47 on January 2, 2012, 1:11 GMT

    Having gone through a bout of depression myself, I understand exactly what Flintoff is saying. Clinical depression isn't anything like feeling unhappy because something went wrong. It's a feeling that everything is wrong in the world and all the person wants to do is get away from it all (that doesn't help, of course). While a person is going through this they don't feel that anything is wrong with them, so they don't realize it is depression; they feel that it's everything else that is wrong, not them. Although Flintoff might not have agreed at the time, the worst thing for both him and England was for him to be given the captaincy for the Australian tour. Strauss had just led England to a comprehensive win over Pakistan and, as he has since proved, is an excellent captain. If he had been captain for the 2005/6 Ashes England would still have lost, but the setback wouldn't have been nearly as severe. All the best to Flintoff for the future.

  • on January 2, 2012, 0:21 GMT

    I hope the cricket authorities respond by considering what early warning systems and support arrangements should be in place to enable cricketers to receive the help that they need. It would also be interesting to hear Duncan Fletcher's assessment and whether the ECB feel that there is more support available now. Flintoff should be applauded for his honesty and any comments about "overrated" are nonsense and frankly puerile if they are not ignorant: for 4 years from 2004 he was the most vital cricketer in the world scoring 1932 runs (av 41.10) and taking 134 wkts (av 25.8)in Tests as English cricket finally threw off the cloak of mediocrity that had clothed it since the early 1970s (remember the Ashes wins of the late 70s and 80s were against poor Australian teams riven by Packer schisms).

  • on January 2, 2012, 0:12 GMT

    Depression can be quite a killer,one doesnt feel like doing anything even though they have all the reasons in the world to be happy.I pray to God He makes it easy for big old Freddie. Best wishes,a fan from Pak.

  • OhhhMattyMatty on January 2, 2012, 0:08 GMT

    That England side of 2004-2006 could have been great, but they were totally ravaged by injuries, illness and bad luck. The fact that England lost so many players (Trescothick, Jones, Harmison, Flintoff, Vaughan etc.) to injury and illness and yet recovered and rebuilt another great side shows how strong English cricket is currently. Almost every world class cricketer currently owes his career to County Cricket (Tendulkar learnt to bat properly at Yorkshire, Kallis' technique was honed by Fletcher at Glamorgan, Watson learnt to swing the ball and open the batting at Hampshire, plus all these world class English players!!!!)

  • 5wombats on January 2, 2012, 0:02 GMT

    Andrew Flintoff is a complete and utter legend; A sportsman of the highest calibre. Drove himself to and past his own physical limits on many occasion. Hero of The Ashes 2005, Hero of Lords 2009. HERO....period. This sad story does not come as a total surprise. Such a wholehearted guy - his lows were bound to be as high as his highs - and his highs were Himalayan! @KHAANZ - bro, what article are you commenting on? @Lord_Dravid & @siddhartha57; your nasty little hissy fits are completely out of place here; Why don't you go and comment on the Aus V india pages?

  • on January 1, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    Hats off to Freddie for coming out and openly expressing himself like this.It may help many others to identify the problem and seek help.One of the admirable fighters of cricketing world and sadly we lost him prematurely.These are passing phases of everyone's life but some can be more prone for significant affects of depression than the others.Seeking professional help is the best way to get around .The lifestyle in Britain is quite stiff unlike in many other test playing nations and may have a contributory effect and many are suffering from depression in UK.However it is an aspect worth looking in any player's lifestyle.Good luck Freddie.

  • on January 1, 2012, 23:35 GMT

    Very crismatic player in cricket,and my favorite, I seen this guys fighting his heart out for England in pakistan.and it seem is though he was the only one wanted to win.will always miss you and ur ability to win matches unlike some legends.huuuuuuuuuh

  • siddhartha57 on January 1, 2012, 19:40 GMT

    I blame the climate in England..... it makes everyone depressed....

  • Lord_Dravid on January 1, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    after helping eng win the ashes in 2005 he suddenly became a hero what nonsense..how was he before and after that? he was an ok play but by far over rated.

  • spence1324 on January 1, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Thing is to, is when you get injury after injury and have to play through the pain barrier and then going through rehab to then breakdown again must take its toll on a player specially when its a never ending cycle as it was with fredde.Even now if anyone has seen his morrisons adverts you can still see him limping through them still in discomfort.Mentally that must be so tough.

  • JG2704 on January 1, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    again , apart from the obvious one - decent comms. Although drinking when you're depressed just adds to the depression. But I guess if he didn't realise what he was going through....

  • on January 1, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    First request to all: please try to sympathize when someone is depressed. Many thiink that depression only occurs when one fails. Yes that kind is usually curable. But depression can strike anyone in any form. Have you felt guilty when skipping gym? Or suddenly you start hating grounds or you are afraid of people...it happens. Depression is a disease. It needs love! Right words are key too. Depression can become deadly and chronic. Alcohol can trigger depression as much as it can exhilarate. But the greatest enemy to depression is...harsh words! When one is ready to destroy himself, you should not push him further. Maybe a change to do what one loves or another profession helps. Pkus DO NOT confuse mental toughness with depression.

  • on January 1, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Poor Freddy. In retrospect this news doesn't surprise me. We all knew he liked a drink, but nobody, not even his own doctor seemed to have a inkling he was ill. As a fellow sufferer i know exactly how he felt. Hope ur feeling better now mate.

  • Technical-1 on January 1, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Flintoff! The Problem is SELF. You ego was crush so you started internalized everything. Its just a game Bro.. Family and God is what matters the Most..

  • Shan156 on January 1, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    One could sense something was wrong with Freddie beginning with the SL series at home (where he bowled over 50 overs in an innings and still couldn't enforce the win). He was never the same Fred that we saw in SA 2004-2005, Ashes 2005 or even as late as the Chennai test against India (2005-2006). It has got nothing to do with defeats. Even when England were thrashed in Pakistan (2005-2006), he still looked OK and even helped England win a game or two in the ODI series that followed. Sad to know that he was another victim of depression. Hopefully, he will have a great life for the rest of his life.

  • Srini88 on January 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    And there will be lot more players esp.. Indians who have gone through "Depression"... Juts that they have not come out in the open. It was very evident that Freddie was not interested in the game towards the last two years of his career. More so when he played for CSK.

  • Rakim on January 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Cheer-up Andrew, you are a warrior. Best wishes from a Pak fan :)

  • KHAANZ on January 1, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    i salute ponting for this, despite everyone yelling at him to retire, everytime he goes out to bat he has so much pressure on him that no one can imagine, but he is so mentally strong that he still wants to go out in the middle and perform.... he is a survivor and a real legend......

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  • KHAANZ on January 1, 2012, 16:35 GMT

    i salute ponting for this, despite everyone yelling at him to retire, everytime he goes out to bat he has so much pressure on him that no one can imagine, but he is so mentally strong that he still wants to go out in the middle and perform.... he is a survivor and a real legend......

  • Rakim on January 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    Cheer-up Andrew, you are a warrior. Best wishes from a Pak fan :)

  • Srini88 on January 1, 2012, 16:53 GMT

    And there will be lot more players esp.. Indians who have gone through "Depression"... Juts that they have not come out in the open. It was very evident that Freddie was not interested in the game towards the last two years of his career. More so when he played for CSK.

  • Shan156 on January 1, 2012, 17:03 GMT

    One could sense something was wrong with Freddie beginning with the SL series at home (where he bowled over 50 overs in an innings and still couldn't enforce the win). He was never the same Fred that we saw in SA 2004-2005, Ashes 2005 or even as late as the Chennai test against India (2005-2006). It has got nothing to do with defeats. Even when England were thrashed in Pakistan (2005-2006), he still looked OK and even helped England win a game or two in the ODI series that followed. Sad to know that he was another victim of depression. Hopefully, he will have a great life for the rest of his life.

  • Technical-1 on January 1, 2012, 17:20 GMT

    Flintoff! The Problem is SELF. You ego was crush so you started internalized everything. Its just a game Bro.. Family and God is what matters the Most..

  • on January 1, 2012, 17:36 GMT

    Poor Freddy. In retrospect this news doesn't surprise me. We all knew he liked a drink, but nobody, not even his own doctor seemed to have a inkling he was ill. As a fellow sufferer i know exactly how he felt. Hope ur feeling better now mate.

  • on January 1, 2012, 17:52 GMT

    First request to all: please try to sympathize when someone is depressed. Many thiink that depression only occurs when one fails. Yes that kind is usually curable. But depression can strike anyone in any form. Have you felt guilty when skipping gym? Or suddenly you start hating grounds or you are afraid of people...it happens. Depression is a disease. It needs love! Right words are key too. Depression can become deadly and chronic. Alcohol can trigger depression as much as it can exhilarate. But the greatest enemy to depression is...harsh words! When one is ready to destroy himself, you should not push him further. Maybe a change to do what one loves or another profession helps. Pkus DO NOT confuse mental toughness with depression.

  • JG2704 on January 1, 2012, 18:19 GMT

    again , apart from the obvious one - decent comms. Although drinking when you're depressed just adds to the depression. But I guess if he didn't realise what he was going through....

  • spence1324 on January 1, 2012, 18:25 GMT

    Thing is to, is when you get injury after injury and have to play through the pain barrier and then going through rehab to then breakdown again must take its toll on a player specially when its a never ending cycle as it was with fredde.Even now if anyone has seen his morrisons adverts you can still see him limping through them still in discomfort.Mentally that must be so tough.

  • Lord_Dravid on January 1, 2012, 19:36 GMT

    after helping eng win the ashes in 2005 he suddenly became a hero what nonsense..how was he before and after that? he was an ok play but by far over rated.