Ashley Gardner slams Australia’s schedule for Jan 26, CA reacts – FirstCricket News, FirstPost

Cricket Australia spoke out in support of Ashley Gardner after the cricketer condemned the decision to schedule a game on January 26.

Australia’s Ashley Gardner is playing a match in India. SportsPix for BCCI

Ashley Gardner, an Indigenous Australian member of Australia’s national women’s cricket team, has condemned Australia’s decision to play T20 against Pakistan on National Day. The 26 January holiday commemorates the arrival of the “First Fleet” in 1788 which established the first white settlements in Australia.

But some Aboriginal Australians observe the day as Invasion Day or Colonization Day because the arrival led to land grabbing and the degradation of Aboriginal Australian culture.

“Unfortunately this year the Australian women’s cricket team will be playing a game on January 26th which certainly doesn’t sit well with me as a person but also with all the people I represent,” Gardner tweeted.

“For those who do not understand well what that day means, it is the beginning of genocide, genocide and overthrow.”

Cricket Australia said the January 26 match schedule would help continue an “ongoing learning journey” with Aboriginal communities.

The Australian team will hold a smoking ceremony before the match and begin a walk around the mountain Kunani to learn about the local community as part of the decision to play on January 26. The team will also wear a special tribal kit designed by two tribal women.

“Cricket Australia recognizes that 26 January is a day that has multiple meanings and evokes mixed feelings in communities across our richly diverse country,” a CA statement said.

“We respectfully acknowledge that this is a challenging day for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and for some the day is considered a day of mourning.

“Cricket Australia understands and acknowledges Ash’s position and appreciates his leadership and contribution to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the game of cricket.

“We will use the Twenty20 international scheduled for January 26 as an opportunity to continue our ongoing learning journey with First Nations people.”

With AP input

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