Prime Minister Tony Abbott has all but ruled out a knighthood for Australian cricket great Shane Warne, saying it’s very unlikely we’ll calling him “Sir Shane” any time soon.
Mr Abbott is bringing knights and dames back into the Australian honours system, overturning a 1986 decision to remove them.
Retiring Governor-General Quentin Bryce has become a dame and her successor Peter Cosgrove will become a knight under the restored system.
Up to four knights or dames can be appointed each year.
Asked whether Warne could be in line for one of the top honours, the prime minister said it was unlikely in the near term.
“He’s a terrific cricketer but I don’t think we’re going to see Sir Shane any time soon,” Mr Abbott told the Seven Network on Wednesday.
Warne finished his cricket career in 2007 with a world record 708 Test wickets and more than 1,000 in the international arena.
If knighted, he would join Sir Donald Bradman (1949) and Sir Jack Brabham (1979) as Australians to have been granted knighthoods due to their sporting deeds.
Mr Abbott said the top honour was being “reserved for a very small number of Australians who have served our country in an extraordinary and pre-eminent way”.
“I think it’s fitting that people who have given service of the quality, and length and strength of dame Quentin Bryce should be appropriately honoured,” he said.
The Australian Republican Movement has called the reinstatement of knights and dames a retrograde step. – AAP