A spokesperson for Daniel Andrews has denied allegations that Shane Warne’s state funeral was scheduled to “sabotage” the Federal budget.
A spokesperson for Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has denied allegations that Shane Warne’s state funeral was intentionally scheduled on March 30 to “sabotage” the Federal budget.
The former Australian leg-spinner passed away after suffering a heart attack in a luxurious villa on the island of Koh Samui last week.
Warne’s state funeral will take place after a private family service, which is expected to be held towards the end of next week.
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Andrews previously said the public service would be an opportunity for Victorians to pay tribute to one of the state’s biggest sporting icons.
“It will be an opportunity for Victorians to pay tribute to his contribution to his sport, to our state and the country,” he said.
But according to the Australian Financial Reviewthere are “suspicions” from some in the Federal government that Andrews deliberately scheduled the memorial service the day after budget night “to sabotage the budget, which the government plans as its election campaign springboard”.
A spokesperson for Mr Andrews denied there were any ulterior motives to the scheduling of Warne’s memorial service.
“This is not about politicians, it’s about the family and the fans,” they told the AFR†
“As it should be, the process for choosing a memorial date was led by the family – and we respect their wishes.”
Former Collingwood Football Club president Eddie McGuire, who has been in contact with Warne’s family this week, told the AFR that the public service was moved from the preferred March 29 date so Scott Morrison and Anthony Albanese could attend.
Warne’s body has arrived back in Australia on Thursday evening, with a private jet carrying the Australian cricket legend’s body touching down at Essendon Fields Airport in Melbourne.
His body was flown back by a company owned by Australian millionaire Terry Peabody.
Family and friends, including Warne’s personal assistant Helen Nolan, were at the airport to greet the private plane.
The MCG’s Great Southern Stand will be renamed the SK Warne Stand in honor of the cricket icon.
“I’ve just informed the Warne family that the government will rename the Great Southern Stand at the MCG — the place it took his hat-trick and 700th wicket — to honor Shane and his contribution to the game,” Mr Andrews said.
“The SK Warne Stand will be a permanent tribute to an amazing Victorian.”
Warne was staying in a private villa on the Thai island of Koh Samui with three friends, including one who performed CPR after finding him unresponsive when he did not show up for dinner.
Police Colonel Yuthana Sirisombat, director of Bo Phut Provincial Police Station in Koh Samui, said Warne had experienced chest pains before his trip to Thailand.
Warne’s family revealed he had been suffering with heart troubles and asthma in the weeks leading up to his death, and had also completed a 14-day liquid only diet.
Members of Warne’s family issued heartfelt tributes last week honoring the cricket icon after his shock death.
Shane’s parents, Keith and Brigitte, his brother Jason, his children, Jackson, Summer and Brooke and his ex-wife, Simone, each released statements on Monday evening.
Keith and Brigitte described the past three days as a “never-ending nightmare” for the Warne family, while Jason called it a “truly heartbreaking” ordeal.
Jackson, 22, vowed to “try and be happy” after his father’s sudden passing, while Summer, 20, described Shane as “the best dad someone could ever ask for”.
Warne’s eldest daughter Brooke, 24, said she was still in shock: “It doesn’t feel right, you were taken away too soon and life is so cruel.”
Simone offered the briefest statement, sharing a powerful quote: “Who bring a light so great to the world that even after they have gone the light remains.”
— with NCA NewsWire