Brendon McCullum has received an unexpected special honour from the visiting Australian side in his final ODI appearance in Hamilton today.

As the retiring Black Caps skipper walked to the crease to open New Zealand's innings at Seddon Park, the Australian team formed a guard of honour.

Today's third ODI, which will decide the series, is McCullum's 260th and final appearance.

After losing the toss and being sent into bat, McCullum produced a typically swashbuckling display in his last innings, bludgeoning 47 off 27 balls before he mistimed a shot and skied it to John Hastings.

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McCullum, who will retire from all international cricket at the end of the Australian tour, made his debut against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground in 2002.