Australian cricketers will show their support for their indigenous teammate who called Australia Day “the start of genocide” when the team plays on January 26.
Australian cricketers are united in their support for teammate Ashleigh Gardner, who has called Australia Day “the beginning of genocide”.
Australia take on Pakistan in the second of their three T20 series in Hobart on Friday and Gardner revealed on Sunday that playing on January 26 did not sit well with him.
The indigenous star, whose mother and ancestors hail from northwestern New South Wales, said she will reflect on what the day means to her ancestors when she takes to the field.
Australia captain Meg Lanning (centre) said the team was united in support of Ashleigh Gardner, who on Sunday slammed Australia Day as the “beginning of genocide”.
“As a proud Muruwari woman and reflecting on what January 26th means to me and my people, it is a day of sorrow and mourning,” she posted on social media.
‘My culture is something I hold close to my heart […] and I’m always so proud to speak when asked.
‘For those who don’t have a good understanding of what the day means, it was the start of genocide, massacres and dispossession.’
And Gardner got the full backing of captain Meg Lanning, who said the team was keen to use its platforms to educate Australians on the issue.
Gardner said Sunday that she wasn’t comfortable playing on Jan. 26.
The Australian star is a proud Muruwari woman, whose mother and ancestors hail from northwestern New South Wales and has spoken out against Australia Day.
“It’s something we can’t control in terms of scheduling and playing that day,” Lanning told Seven.
“But one thing we would like to do is acknowledge the sadness and pain that day brings for First Nations people.
‘We’re going to try to take the opportunity we have to educate ourselves and try to create a better understanding of what it means and its culture.
Gardner, 25, is currently the top ranked T20 in the world.
“It’s a really united front in the group and we all support Ash and his feelings throughout the day.”
Australia’s T20 series against Pakistan begins on January 24 and the second game was originally scheduled for January 27 in Canberra, but was moved to Hobart on January 26 after South Africa abandoned the men’s ODI series.
In a player-orchestrated move, Australia will wear an indigenous jersey and their socks and wristbands will also feature indigenous colors and motifs.
Australia will also wear a First Nations jersey at the T20 World Cup in South Africa next month and indigenous items have become a Big Bash staple this season.
Celebrations of indigenous culture have become a staple of the Big Bash this season.
Jerseys for all BBL teams now include indigenous colors and motifs.
“It’s something we’ve been working on as a group for a number of years,” Lanning added.
“We have been trying to take every opportunity that we have to educate ourselves and try to celebrate the culture of First Nations people as well and try to make a point of that.
‘We’re going on a cultural tour the day before [January 26] to learn a little more.
‘It’s something we’ve talked about as a group in recent years, it hasn’t just come up now. We’ll continue to do it because we think it’s important.’