Champion Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia, Julia Gillard has announced.
The Prime Minister said she believed this was the first time a foreign cricketer had been so honoured but said Tendulkar was special.
The honour will be conferred by cabinet minister Simon Crean when he visits India soon.
Ms Gillard made the announcement when visiting a cricket clinic for children from the slums run by the Magic Bus Organisation, which mentors 250,000 children from impoverished areas.
The program was started 13 years ago by Matthew Spacie, an Englishman who played international rugby for India and now heads the charity.
The children are enrolled at eight years old and mentored until they are 18, culminating in intense employment training.
Sport, including cricket and football, is used as a platform for helping them acquire and develop life skills and encouraging them to get a good education and be healthy.
Ms Gillard firmly refused requests from the media to take up bat or ball, saying that while she had political differences with John Howard, she had learned some things from watching him - and one was ''don't succumb to playing cricket in front of the TV''.
But she happily posed with groups of cheering children and watched them play.
The Prime Minister was accompanied by several members of the Australian Indigenous Cricket Team, who have just arrived in India. The team lost its first match on the last ball.