Australia v England, 1st Test, Brisbane, 1st day November 23, 2006

Quick singles: How's the air up there, Trevor?

Cricinfo staff

Matthew Hayden secures another $80 © Getty Images

Bet you didn't pick the seat
Seven months is a long time out of the game for Trevor Hohns, the former chairman of selectors. Hohns retired from his long-term post in April and has dropped dramatically on the ticket-priority list. Instead of dressing room and all-stadium access, Hohns was a row from the top of the Northern Stand, which almost requires complimentary oxygen masks.

Keeping abreast of research
Only the brave or stupid have ever referred to Matthew Hayden as a boob. But by using a pink grip on his bat in the series he's bringing attention to breast cancer research. Gray-Nicolls, Hayden's bat sponsor, will donate $20 to the fund for every run he scores over the five Tests. Today he raised $420 before lunch with his 21.

Eyes on the skies
War metaphors have been a constant part of the lead-up, so it was fitting that there was a military opening to the series. Two Blackhawk helicopters swooped over the Gabba to signal the engagement was about to begin and a couple of army officers raised the flags during the national anthems. Up in the Nine commentary box they were unveiling infra-red camera technology that is normally issued to track jet-fighters. But the "Hot Spot" isn't there to alert the masses to any prospective terror threats. It is being shown off in another technological attempt to provide definitive answers on contentious edges.

The last post
The Barmy Army trumpeter has been silenced by the Gabba's anti-instrument policy. Despite entertaining crowds at grounds throughout the world, Bill Cooper was evicted along with the drunk, disorderly and badly behaved. "He tried to bring his trumpet in and was told to stop," a police spokesman said. "However, the trumpet got in somehow and he was asked to leave." Queensland Cricket has no plans to relax its regulations. Bring back the music!