On 24 March 2011, Mike Yardy arrived at a point he hoped he would never see.
The all-rounder was in the England team engaged in the World Cup on the subcontinent, the culmination of an ambition to play for his country he had nurtured since he was a child. But instead of enjoying it, instead of rising to the challenge, he was locked in his hotel room, unable to pull himself out of an all-enveloping torpor.
Subject to a condition which had stalked him much of his adult life, he realised there was only one solution: he had to get out of there. When he returned home from India he made no attempt to hide the reason: he was suffering from depression.
"I don't think you should keep it quiet," he explained one day last week. "I'm not embarrassed or ashamed about what happened. I view it as an injury. If I'd have pulled a thigh muscle, it wouldn't even be a question."
Yardy was speaking - eloquently, openly and honestly - at a seminar at the BBC's headquarters in Salford. Organised by the Mind charity, its purpose was to offer guidelines to media folk about how issues of mental health in professional sport should be reported. It is an area with which Yardy became reluctantly familiar. After all, Geoffrey Boycott notoriously insisted that his departure from India was caused by an inability to take criticism.
"He must have been reading my comments about his bowling, it must have upset him," Boycott told the BBC radio audience at the time. "Obviously it was too much for him at this level."
Yardy, though, harboured no complaint about the great Yorkshireman's comments. "He's apologised, which was good of him," he said. "I think what he said was because of a lack of understanding, not malice. He associated mood with performance. It's not like that."
This was the message Yardy was keen to convey. Interviewed after the seminar, he insisted clinical depression was no respecter of position, standing or sporting form.
"I don't think there's a correlation between performance and depression," he said. "To a certain extent there's a satisfaction to be drawn from doing well, but I can look back at my most successful seasons and not remember them as particularly happy. Equally, I could have a really bad day in the middle and deal with it perfectly easily."
Yardy first became aware of his condition in 2008, when he was 25. "The biggest thing about depression is you become a very good actor," he explained. "You're in the car feeling really down and the next minute you're surrounded by people giving off the impression that you're up and with it. Instead of attempting to address the underlying causes, you become very good at masking it. You can't imagine how much that takes out of you. Always putting this front on, but inside, chewing yourself up. And eventually you just evaporate."
In India, he melted in the worst attack he had yet experienced. Unlike the picture painted by Kevin Pietersen in his autobiography, he suggested the then England coach Andy Flower was incredibly supportive and understanding, showing great sensitivity to his plight. But coming back did not immediately resolve the problem.
"All I wanted was for everything to be normal," he recalled. "Just to go back to where everything was happy in my life. I'm not sure it worked at first. I spent too much energy trying to make things happy instead of dealing with the issues in my head."
He took a year out of the game, had a short-lived comeback in May 2012, then took another break. But since he returned to play for Sussex in 2013 he has not had further time off. And the reaction, he said, was not universally as understanding as that of Flower.
"I remember when I came back and played in a Twenty20 at Canterbury I got vicious abuse from someone in the crowd. I don't mind being called rubbish. But what he was saying was something way beyond that. I was just amazed that someone could say something like he did and think it was acceptable." But that did not deter him from speaking about his condition. If anything it made him more determined. "I got letters from people saying thank you for being open about your problems. But everyone with poor mental health is different. I find it tricky sometimes because people come up to me and say: 'I know what you're going through.' I don't want to be disrespectful, but I feel like saying: 'Well no you don't.'"
Indeed, he believes that the biggest symbolic breakthrough in the public perception of depression in sport is yet to come. "I think the next step is when someone who has declared their depression, and maybe like me been obliged to duck out of things, comes back and scores a century in an Ashes Test. But the story of someone who came back guns blazing would make people realise that when it hits you, it isn't over, there is a route back."
Yardy is now combining his cricket at Sussex with work towards his next ambition: he is studying to become a sports psychologist. Though he insisted this is not a case of the poacher turning gamekeeper.
"I can see a link to my own personal issues, but it's another branch of psychology altogether. It is more to do with trying to help people find a way to improve performance than to help them protect themselves against such issues."
So what will he be telling anyone who seeks his advice in the future?
"I think you'd help them find strategies which would constantly reassure them about what they had done to get there. I used that when I was playing for England. And there were periods I got it so right. Periods when I was clear what I did, I didn't catastrophise bad performances, I didn't get too high. And there were other times when I just thought: you're going to get found out here."
As for his own depression, he is confident things will only get better. "I'm still coming to terms with being sufficiently self-aware to recognise trigger points and what I can do to help when problems arise," he admitted. "I'm learning strategies every day."