Three of Queensland cricket’s favourite sons received stirring applause from the Gabba faithful on Friday.
But Matthew Hayden was a reluctant recipient.
Retired former internationals Michael Kasprowicz and Jimmy Maher were officially farewelled during the day two tea break of the first Test against New Zealand at Brisbane.
Minutes later Hayden received what looked very much like his hometown swansong – albeit unwillingly.
The big Queenslander was sensationally caught behind off the first ball of Australia’s second innings in what looms as his final innings at his homeground.
The golden duck was hardly a fitting finale for the hulking opener – yet the Gabba crowd still stood to salute Hayden for what may be the last time.
Kasprowicz and Maher enjoyed a ride around the ground and briefly addressed the adoring crowd during the tea break ceremony.
Cynics would suggest they did more to earn their applause than Hayden who amassed a match total of eight runs.
But Hayden is getting used to criticism these days.
Hayden had arrived at Brisbane with plenty to prove despite his remarkable 99-Test career.
However, he will leave with question marks still hovering over him.
After amassing a disappointing 234 runs at 33.42 during the 2-0 series loss in India, Hayden knew the knives would be out.
At 37, the veteran opener even conceded the clock was ticking on his remarkable international career – even though he has been told by the national selectors he is part of their plans for the next 12 months.
Hayden would not guarantee he would be available for next year’s Ashes tour, hinting that his career had become a game-by-game proposition.
While he had looked forward to returning to his “backyard pitch”, Hayden didn’t have enough time at the crease to feel at home at the Gabba.
Hayden was caught behind off exciting young quick Tim Southee in the first innings for eight.
And the walk to the crease lasted longer than his second dig.
Yet Hayden is still making headlines – just not for his batting heroics.
He unwittingly created a furore by describing India as a “third world country” when describing the factors that contributed to Australia’s slow over-rate on the subcontinent.
And he was in the news again before the first Test when New Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori described the big fella as well as teammates Ricky Ponting and Andrew Symonds as world cricket’s three most aggressive nigglers in his new book.
But Hayden does not have to be told it is time for his bat to do the talking.
At least he is guaranteed a ton in the trans-Tasman series’ second instalment at Adelaide starting on November 28 – it will be his 100th Test.