The Australian team rallied behind Gardner after his January 26 statement

Meg Lanning The Australian women’s team has announced it has united in support of the Aboriginal star Ashley Gardner and his criticism of the team’s performance on January 26.

Gardner made his views clear On Sunday, when he said the day was a “day of hurt and mourning” for Indigenous Australians.

Reigning Belinda Clarke will line up in the T20I against Pakistan, the award holder, but says the game on this date has not gone down well with her.

The second T20 against Pakistan was originally scheduled for 27 January in Canberra but was moved to Hobart on 26 when South Africa abandoned their men’s ODI series, which included a scheduled game in the southern city.

In a move driven by the players, Australia will wear an indigenous jersey, wristbands and socks in native colors for the match in Hobart.

The issue is understood to have been first raised by the players months ago, who were keen to lead the education space on the matter after the game was scheduled for January 26.

“It’s something we can’t control in terms of the schedule and the game that day,” Lanning said. “But something we want to do is acknowledge the sadness and grief that day brings to First Nations people.

“We’re going to try to use the opportunity to educate ourselves and try to create a better understanding of what it means and their culture. It’s really a united front in the group and we all support Ash and his feelings all day long.”

Lanning said Gardner was doing “quite well” after receiving abuse online following his speech and characterized the all-rounder’s action as brave. Gardner was with the Australian team at practice on Monday, amid a media frenzy.

The January 26 issue has been a constant challenge for Cricket Australia in recent years and is one on which the governing body receives regular input from its Indigenous Advisory Committee.

The company dropped the term “Australia Day” from all marketing two years ago, drawing criticism from then-prime minister Scott Morrison.

Aboriginal elements will also become part of all Big Bash League uniforms from next season, with the women’s team wearing First Nations jerseys throughout next month’s World Twenty20.

“It’s something we’ve been working on as a group for years,” Lanning said. “We’ve tried to use every opportunity to educate ourselves and celebrate the culture of First Nations people and try to make a point of that.

“We are doing a cultural tour the day before [January 26)] Learn a little more. It’s something we’ve talked about as a group over the last few years, it just didn’t come up right away. We will continue to do this because we think it is important.”

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