Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig
To receive a rundown of Brad Haddin's international career is to know the pain of Australia's grim Ashes decade in England. From a hell-raising and ultimately chastening experience as back-up gloveman in 2005 to his role as senior pro in a rebuilding 2013 team, Haddin has toured England three times and always returned home without the urn.
This time around Australia are favoured to retain the Ashes they won at home in 2013-14, and it can be guaranteed that Haddin will be the man ensuring younger members of the squad know what it would mean to do so. At 37, Haddin's hunger for this assignment is undimmed, and others will have to take shortcuts to success at risk of his wrath.
"From an Australian cricket point of view, we haven't had success in England for a long time," Haddin said. "No matter where you're ranked … the theatre and everything behind an Ashes campaign and the pressures that I feel are totally different.
"You get off on it a bit, an Ashes campaign. They are so different. I've never had the privilege of holding the urn up over there [in England]. That would be a dream for not only me but this group. We've come a long way as a team over the last 12 to 18 months - one way you can see that is the way we're starting to field. You can see everyone is wanting to play for each other. I'd love to hold the urn up over there."
Back in 2005, Haddin sported a blond-tipped hairstyle that had Shane Warne dubbing him "Rockin Rod Stewart", and made the most of his free time as reserve gloveman to Adam Gilchrist. This time around it is Peter Nevill working as the shadow man, although his attitude is a little more earnest than the brazen ways of a twenty-something Haddin.
"He carries my bag," Haddin quipped. "No, on long tours, it can be hard for the guys not playing. But the sign of a truly good touring party is the stuff that a lot of people don't see away from the cricket field. The little things they do to help us prepare and the extra training they do away from everyone to make sure they're right to play. I've been in that position a number of times. It's the best time of your life, actually - no pressure. No, I think everyone is seeing now what sort of person he is. It's been great to have him round.
"I've seen Nev since he came to New South Wales. His work ethic and attention to detail is outstanding. He's just like anyone in the tradition of Australian wicketkeepers. He works hard, he wants to get better. What I've been most impressed with around this group is he's willing to do all those jobs that don't get noticed by everyone on the outside. I'm really looking forward to working with him over the next three months and just continue the work we've done.
"He's very good for me, also. He's seen a lot of my keeping so he can pick up little things if my technique's changing - he's got a pretty good eye for that. We work well together. he deserves the opportunity just through sheer weight of numbers and the performances he's put on the board for NSW. He's got here the old-fashioned way, just on results."
Haddin's mere presence in the West Indies is a reminder of how his life has changed, and how far he has come over the past three years. In 2012, he had been in the Caribbean for less than a week when a bad prognosis for his daughter Mia forced Haddin home to a world utterly devoid of cricket. While focused on his daughter's help he stopped thinking about the game, and admits he would have been content with his lot had he not returned.
"When I left the game, it wasn't about cricket," he said. "Once I was able to get back to play, I never doubted I could get back to this level. My only doubt was whether I was able to get back to play the game. With my family circumstances I wasn't 100% that was going to happen and I was comfortable with that.
"I was happy my career was over then because we had different things in our lives that we had to worry about. Once I got back to playing cricket, I never doubted I'd get back to this level. If that was the case, I would have never played for NSW. I wouldn't stand in the way of say a young Peter Nevill if my time was done for Australia.
"Cricket's been great to me and my family. I've had a great journey. I've enjoyed every moment of it, even the good days and the bad days. I've had an absolute ball. I wasn't really thinking about cricket then. It was about making sure everything was right at home. If circumstances allowed me to get back to play the game, then I was going to come back."
As for life beyond the Ashes, Haddin has not given it much thought. His ODI retirement emerged in the aftermath of World Cup celebrations, and it is possible to form the impression that a victorious Ashes campaign might sate his hunger for the long tours and hard training sessions that are required to continue playing for his country.
"I know there's speculation with the age I am," he said. "I haven't really sat down and had a really good think about it. I'm enjoying my cricket where it's at at the moment. We've got a massive campaign coming up after this with the Ashes. You can't have any clouded views on 'I might finish here' or anything clouding your thought process going into a campaign like that.
"You've got to give it the respect it deserves. A series like that is as big as you get. The hype and the theatre around that whole campaign, I wouldn't do myself justice or my teammates justice if I was thinking about anything else."
For now, the urn is all that's on Haddin's mind.