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Legendary cricketer Shane Warne will be posthumously awarded one of Australia’s highest accolades in the next Queen’s Birthday Honours List.
The decision to recognise Warne with the Order of Australia will remedy his absence from the official pantheon that recognises the nation’s most notable citizens’ achievements.
Daily Mail Australia revealed this week that the game’s greatest spin bowler had never formally been honoured by his country while he was living.
Warne, who died aged 52 last Friday in Thailand, will likely be made an Officer or Member of the Order of Australia, the second and third highest levels in the award system respectively.
Shane Warne will be posthumously awarded one of Australia’s highest accolades in the next Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Daily Mail Australia revealed on Wednesday that history’s greatest spin bowler had never officially been honoured by his country while he was living. He is pictured at Buckingham Palace with the Queen
Warne, who died aged 52 last Friday in Thailand, is likely to be made an Officer or Member of the Order of Australia, the second and third highest levels in the award system respectively. He is pictured celebrating one of his 708 wickets, that of Pakistan opening batsman Saeed Anwar at the Gabba in 1999
The highest rung, Companion of the Order of Australia, was granted to Sir Donald Bradman but is otherwise not generally considered for sportsmen or women.
Appointments in the Order of Australia are not usually made posthumously but if a candidate is put forward before his or her death their nomination can still be considered.
A well-placed source told Daily Mail Australia that Warne had been nominated and the appropriate forms already received by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat before his death.
It was impossible to imagine Warne’s nomination would be rejected, the source said. Consideration of a nomination can take between 18 months and two years.
Nominations for Orders of Australia can be made by anyone. It is possible Warne had been nominated previously and the application was dismissed.
Awards are determined by the independent 19-member Council for the Order of Australia but it is understood senior government figures would support Warne’s long-overdue recognition.
Orders of Australia are announced twice a year: on Australia Day and the second Monday of June when the Queen’s Birthday is observed in most states.
Warne’s Test captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting are all Officers of the Order of Australia (AO), the second-highest award in the system. Ponting is pictured receiving his Order of Australia at Government House in 2012
Trinidadian master batsman Brian Lara and Indian legend Sachin Tendulkar are honorary Members of the Order of Australia despite not being citizens. Lara is pictured receiving his Order of Australia from then prime minister Kevin Rudd in Port-of-Spain in 2009
Warne’s captains Allan Border, Mark Taylor, Steve Waugh and Ricky Ponting are all Officers of the Order of Australia (AO).
Pictured is the front of the Officer of the Order of Australia medal
So to is Test captain of the 1970s and 1980s Greg Chappell and Ian Healy, who kept wicket to Warne for the first half of his international career.
Warne’s contemporaries Mark Waugh, Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer are Members of the Order of Australia (AM), as are seam bowler Glenn McGrath and wicketkeeper/batsman Adam Gilchrist.
Warne’s first Australian coach – and handy leg spinner – Bob Simpson is also an AM. Simpson’s onetime opening partner Bill Lawry received the same award while he was a commentator.
Max Walker, the late medium-fast bowler, broadcaster and best-selling author of humorous cricket stories, got one in 2011.
Even Trinidadian master batsman Brian Lara and his Indian equivalent Sachin Tendulkar are Members of the Order of Australia, despite not being citizens.
West Indian allrounder from the 1950s to 1970s, the great Sir Garfield Sobers, and his countryman Clive Lloyd are one step higher as honorary Officers of the Order of Australia.
Shane Warne was named as one of the five greatest cricketers to play the game but died without ever being honoured by his own country. Warne won almost every plaudit a cricketer could earn but never once appeared on the Australia Day or the Queen’s Birthday honours lists
Warne’s well-known womanising and other off-field indiscretions should not have stopped him being recognised with an official award but perhaps did.
Dean Jones fathered a son during a decade-long affair outside his 30-year marriage and died in 2020 with AM after his name.
How the Order of Australia is bestowed
The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens.
Nominations for awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia come directly from the community. Nominations are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia which makes recommendations directly to the Governor-General.
The nomination should include an outline of how the nominee has made a significant contribution to the community. Contact details for four referees who can directly comment on the nominee’s contribution and achievements also need to be provided.
Honorary appointments may be made to people who are not citizens where they have given extraordinary service to Australia or humanity at large.
Consideration of a nomination can take between 18 months and two years.
Source: The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
Warne was fined for accepting money from an Indian bookmaker in exchange for pitch and weather information in 1994, but Mark Waugh did the same thing.
The king of spin took 708 wickets with his right-arm leg breaks across 145 Tests between 1992 and 2007.
That tally has only been bettered by Sri Lankan right-arm off spinner Muttiah Muralitharan, who took 800 scalps in 133 Tests from 1992 to 2010.
Warne revolutionised cricket with his mastery of the once-dying art of leg spin bowling, challenging decades of dominance by the game’s pacemen.
The only Australian whose cricket achievements unequivocally beat Warne’s is Bradman, whose 6,996 runs in 52 Tests at an average of 99.94 may never be beaten.
Bradman was made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 1979, 30 years after he was knighted by the Queen.
When cricket bible Wisden named its five players of the 20th century in 2000 all but Warne had already received knighthoods: Bradman, Sobers, Englishman Sir Jack Hobbs, and West Indian Sir Viv Richards.
Warne was named by Wisden as the world’s best cricketer in 1997 and 2004. He was included in Wisden’s all-time Test World XI for its 150th anniversary in 2012.
Cricket Australia inducted him into its Hall of Fame in 2013 and he joined the International Cricket Council’s Hall of Fame the following year.
Warne’s portrait hangs in the Long Room at Lord’s – where he is an honorary life member of the Marylebone Cricket Club – along with those of Bradman and Australian allrounder Keith Miller.
Cricket Australia and Sri Lanka Cricket named the prize for the Test series played between the two nations the Warne-Muralitharan Trophy in 2007.
A bronze statue of Warne was unveiled outside the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 2011 and Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has announced the MCG’s Great Southern Stand is to be renamed the SK Warne Stand.
Yet the only official national honours Warne held during his life were the Australian Sports Medal and the even lowlier Centenary Medal.
Former Test captain Mark Taylor was cited for his services as an administrator and mentor, as well as to the community through his support of funding cancer research. Taylor is pictured with Warne
Justin Langer (left) was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2008. His long-term opening partner and great mate Matthew Hayden (right) received the same honour in 2010
The Australian Sports Medal was struck in 2000 to coincide with the Sydney Olympics and was originally presented to 18,015 men and women who had ‘contributed to Australia’s sporting excellence’ that year.
The Centenary Medal is a commemorative award established in 2001 to acknowledge 15,841 recipients who ‘contributed to the success of Australia’s first hundred years as a federal nation.’
Nominations for the general division of the Order of Australia, under which sportsmen and women are honoured, come directly from the community.
The Council for the Order of Australia then considers whether a nominee has ‘demonstrated achievement at a high level’. It makes makes recommendations directly to the governor-general.
Wicketkeeper and batting great Adam Gilchrist was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010 ‘for service to cricket as a player, and to the community as a supporter of a range of charitable organisations’
The nominee should have ‘made a contribution over and above what might be reasonably expected through paid employment.’
Alternatively, the council will recognise a person ‘whose voluntary contribution to the community stands out from others who have also made a valuable contribution.’
Cricketers with an Order of Australia
Cricketers to be honoured under the Order of Australia include:
Don Bradman AC
Greg Chappell AO
Allan Border AO
Mark Taylor AO
Steve Waugh AO
Ricky Ponting AO
Ian Healy AO
Mark Waugh AM
Matthew Hayden AM
Justin Langer AM
Glenn McGrath AM
Adam Gilchrist AM
Dean Jones AM
Keith Miller AM
Max Walker AM
Peter Burge AM
Bill Lawry AM
Bob Simpson AM
Some cricketers have received Australian honours for achievements beyond sporting prowess.
Pointing was rewarded for ‘distinguished service to the sport of cricket as a leading player at the national and international level, and to the community through the establishment of the Ponting Foundation’.
Taylor was cited for his services as an administrator and mentor, as well as to the community through his support of funding cancer research.
But Border’s two citations read simply: ‘In recognition of service to the sport of cricket.’
Warne’s fellow leg spinner Bob Holland, who took 34 wickets in 11 Tests in the 1980s, has a Medal of the Order of Australia ‘for service to cricket’.
Ray Bright, a left-arm orthodox spin bowler who took 53 wickets in 25 Tests in the 1970s, was given the same medal ‘in recognition of service to the sport of cricket’.
[Victorian Bright took 471 wickets in 184 first-class matches; New South Welshman Holland took 316 in 95 such games].
After retirement Warne became a distinguished commentator and mentored young bowlers, as well as contributing generously to numerous charities over many years.
He raised money for seriously ill and disadvantaged children and donated his baggy green cap which reaped $1million for the 2020 Red Cross bushfire appeal.
Leg spinner and legendary broadcaster Richie Benaud was given an OBE in 1962 while he was still playing. Leg spinner and journalist Bill O’Reilly got the same award in 1980 more than three decades after his last game.
Former Australian captain Greg Chappell was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2021, 23 years after he became a Member of the Order of the British Empire.
Steve Waugh was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2003 ‘for service to cricket as a leading player, and to the community, particularly through the Udayan children’s home’. He is pictured with Warne after beating Pakistan in an ODI series final at the SCG in 2000
Rod Marsh, Australia’s wicketkeeper of the 1970s and early 1980s, who died at 74 a day before Warne, was also a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in under the Imperial honours system.
So too was fast bowler Dennis Lillee, whose partnership with Marsh brought 95 Test wickets, and their swashbuckling teammate Doug Walters, six years earlier.
Another cricketer entitled to use MBE after his name is David Boon, the nuggety batsman who played with Warne for the first four years of his Test career.
If Warne had been previously overlooked for honours due to his hellraising ways, it is worth noting Walters, Marsh and Boon each at one time held the Sydney to Heathrow beer drinking record.
Source: DailyMail AU