England wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler has opened up on the mental demons he faced ahead of the Cricket World Cup final.
England carried the expectations of a nation when they faced the Black Caps at Lord's, and as pre-tournament favourites, the pressure to win was immense.
Overcome with the fear of losing, Buttler said he thought he'd never play the game again if they'd lost.
"What was scaring me was if we lost, I didn't know how I'd play cricket again," Buttler told the Daily Mail.
"I was thinking: 'If it doesn't happen, I will have no motivation to pick up a cricket bat for a very long time.'
"I had played in eight finals before Sunday and lost seven of them … I knew how much it hurt watching the other team lift the trophy. I didn't want to feel that pain and that regret again."
Buttler revealed his fears first got the better of him midway through the tournament when it looked unlikely England would make the semi-finals having lost to Sri Lanka and Australia back-to-back.
"We'd been favourites, so highly fancied by everyone, and there was the danger that four years of playing such good cricket was going to come to nothing," he said.
But after confiding in the team psychologist, David Young, Buttler said he realised to best overcome his fears, he needed to trust in the process.
"This was such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, a World Cup final at Lord's. It felt like destiny ... When I was talking to David, I knew the answers.
"I knew all I could look after was the stuff I could look after, and I needed to get into my zone, which allows me to perform the best I can."
Buttler played a crucial role in the grand final, completing the run-out of Black Caps' Martin Guptill off the last ball of the Super Over to seal the win for England.
It was a moment he said would stick with him forever.
"For however long I have left in my career, I would just enjoy it and think: 'That happened'."