Ben Stokes had to miss the Ashes series against Australia as the ECB had suspended him from the sport due to his infringement in the Bristol brawl case. Subsequently, as it turned out, England lost the series against Australia 4-0.
Stokes was instead forced to take a watching brief as England toiled throughout the series, but the 26-year-old says he still felt the pain of defeat strongly.
"I lived every moment of the Ashes. I'm sure it was nowhere near the emotions of the guys out there but I was just as gutted," he told the Guardian.
Stokes made his return to the international fold for the tour of New Zealand, making just 12 with the bat during the first ODI but putting in a man-of-the-match showing during the second contest.
Reliving his first game back, he added: "I was anxious. I was guilty of thinking too far ahead and trying to make an impression. It was like I was at the start of my career."
"I was really emotional after getting Man of the Match in that second game back. It was such a relief to perform and be there at the end.
"I had five minutes to myself after getting back to the dressing room, sat in my bubble and taking it all in. The lads appreciated that and gave me space. It was a great feeling."
Stokes now is plying his trade for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL who have notched up two wins in three games and will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in their next game on Wednesday.