Shane Warne has been recognised posthumously in this year’s Queen’s birthday honours list, with the cricket great becoming an officer of the Order of Australia.
The former Test spinner, who died from a heart attack in March, was joined by the retired former world No 1 tennis player, Ash Barty, in being honoured with an AO, while the current women’s national cricket captain, Meg Lanning, was awarded an AM, a member of the Order of Australia.
Australia’s only Winter Olympics gold medal winner at this year’s Games in Beijing, Jakara Anthony, was recognised with an OAM, a medal of the Order of Australia.
Warne, whose sudden death in Thailand prompted an outpouring of national grief, a stream of tributes and a state memorial service at the MCG, which now features a stand bearing his name, was one of 992 Australians to receive awards on Sunday night.
He was honoured for his distinguished service to cricket as a player, role model and commentator, to the community through charitable initiatives, and for philanthropic contributions.
Warne was one of Australia’s greatest cricketers, taking 708 wickets over a Test career that spanned 15 years. In 2012 he was inducted into the Australian Cricket Hall of Fame and was named one of Wisden’s Cricketers of the Century in 2000.
His work off the pitch was equally prodigious; he founded the Shane Warne Foundation in 2004 and was a supporter and benefactor for numerous other charitable and conservation organisations, including My Room Children’s Cancer Charity and the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Barty, who stunned the tennis world earlier this year when she announced her retirement at the age of 25, was awarded her AO for distinguished service to tennis at the elite level and to youth development programs.
The Queenslander called time on her career in March while at the pinnacle of the game – she had been ranked No 1 in the world since 2019 and earlier this year added the Australian Open crown to her grand slam collection, which also includes the French Open and Wimbledon singles and the US Open women’s doubles titles.
Barty, a proud Ngarigo woman, has been Tennis Australia’s national Indigenous ambassador since 2018 and was voted Young Australian of the Year in 2020. She also won Australian tennis’s highest honour, the Newcombe medal, four times between 2017 and 2021.
Lanning, captain of Australia’s Test, ODI and T20 teams since 2014, was recognised for her “significant service” to women’s cricket at the elite level. She has amassed more than 8,500 runs to date, including 14 ODI and two T20I centuries, while leading a remarkably successful team to two World Cups and four World Twenty20 titles, including the most recent edition.
Earlier this year, she also oversaw a comprehensive Women’s Ashes series victory over England. The 30-year-old has won the Belinda Clark medal three times as Australia’s leading women’s cricketer, and was an inaugural recipient of the Wisden women’s cricketer of the year award in 2014.
Continuing the tradition of honouring Olympic gold medallists, freestyle skier Anthony was recognised for her triumph in the freestyle moguls at the Winter Games in Beijing, where she was the only Australian to win gold.
Another former Test cricketer and hall-of-famer, Doug Walters, was awarded an AM, along with the former golfer Sandra McCaw, the only woman to have won the Australian Women’s Amateur Golf Championship on four occasions between 1972 and 1984.