Damien Martyn has spoken for the first time about his shock decision to quit the Australian team midway through the Ashes series, saying he walked away because he had lost motivation and was worried he would let the team down.
"I just couldn't go on. I was letting down my team mates," the former middle-order batsman said in an interview broadcast on Australian television today.
Martyn announced his retirement in December after Australia won the second test in Adelaide to lead the series 2-0, but the timing caught everyone by surprise.
The stylish right-hander had not been in the best of form but was assured of being selected for the third test in his home city of Perth with Australia on the verge of regaining the Ashes.
"A lot of people might not be happy with it -- some people will be shocked and disappointed but for me -- for my personal happiness... It was the right time to go."
Martyn did not even tell his own team mates and went into hiding to escape the media attention before reappearing at the final test in Sydney.
The 35-year-old said he regretted his decision not to tell close friend and Australian captain Ricky Ponting but said he could not face him at the time.
"That's always going to be something I have to live with," Martyn said.
"He's disappointed and rightly so... But to look him in the eye, I would have broke down. I would have been in tears and I don't think I could have said what I wanted to say.