Steve Waugh told Marnus Labuschagne to treasure his one-day cap like his baggy green as the star batsman made his white-ball debut for Australia.
Waugh presented the nation's newest star with his maiden cap before Australia's series opener against India in Mumbai on Tuesday.
Labuschagne became the team's 229th representative, joining a list that Waugh was instrumental in ensuring was recorded appropriately in history.
Waugh not only played in two World Cup-winning sides, but, before the 1999 tournament, found each player's number and had it placed on their caps.
"The baggy green, you know how much that means to me. It's special. But so is this cap," Waugh told Labuschagne at his cap presentation captured by Cricket Australia.
"I played a lot of cricket and at the end of every series people used to throw them away and give them away. Shirts and caps.
"I used to think one-day cricket has to mean more than that.
"It's something special, it's the same as playing for Australia in Test cricket.
"I wanted the numbers on the cap so the guys will keep their cap and guys will know their place in history."
Labuschagne's debut came after a sensational home Test summer, where he scored a record 896 runs at an average of 112.
The haul was the most for any Australian in a five-Test summer.
Currently in India taking photos for the MCC's Spirit of Cricket project, Waugh said he saw flashes of cricket nuffie Labuschagne in the thousands of children playing in parks around Mumbai.
"I saw thousands of Marnus' running around, that to me is the spirit of cricket," Waugh said.
"If you take the same spirit into the rest of your career, you're going to be successful.
"You've had a great year in Test cricket, and coming up in one-day cricket. Marnus, No.229, congratulations mate."
Labuschagne was born in South Africa and moved to Australia at age nine, finding a team and beginning to play within days of coming to the country.
He told AAP earlier this week that, from then on, he never had any doubt about wanting to wear the canary yellow Australian strip over the Proteas' green.
"Once we moved that was it. My attention turned to Australia. I wanted to represent Australia," Labuschagne said.
"Everything that this country has given me, opportunity and really I am so thankful for everything that Australia has given us."