Ashleigh Gardner lashes out at Cricket Australia for scheduling fixture on Australia Day
The Australian women's cricket team is scheduled to play a T20I match against Pakistan women on January 26.
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Australia women's cricketer Ashleigh Gardner has expressed her disappointment on Cricket Australia's (CA) decision of scheduling a T20I match on January 26, 2023, regarded as Australia Day in the country. Australia face Pakistan in the first T20I of the upcoming three-match T20I series on Tuesday, January 24 at the North Sydney Oval and will then play the visitors on Australia Day in Hobart.
Ash Gardner, the reigning Belinda Clark Award winner for the best female player in the nation, is a crucial member of the Australian team across all the three formats because of her magnificent all-round prowess as an athlete.
Proud Muruwari Woman: Ash Gardner hits out at CA's scheduling
"As a proud Muruwari woman and reflecting on what January 26 means to me and my people, it is a day of hurt and mourning," the 25-year-old posted on social media.
The all-rounder, in her post, stated that she takes immense pride in belonging to the race she was born in and representing its culture to the world. She was extremely disappointed with CA scheduling a match on January 26.
Though Gardner clarified that she won't be skipping the fixture on that day, she added that during the course of the match she would definitely send a thought to all her ancestors who were wronged on Australia Day.
"My culture is something I hold close to my heart and something I’m always so proud to speak about whenever asked. I also am fortunate enough to play cricket for a living which is something I dreamt of as a kid. Unfortunately this year the Australian women’s cricket team has been scheduled to play a game on the 26th of Jan which certainly doesn’t sit well with me as an individual but also all the people I’m representing."
"As a national team, we have a platform to raise awareness about certain issues and I’m using this platform to hopefully help educate others on a journey to learn about the longest living culture in the world. For those who don’t have a good understanding of what that day means it was the beginning of genocide, massacres and dispossession. When I take the field for this game I will certainly be reflecting and thinking about all of my ancestors and people’s lives who changed from this day,” her post on Twitter read.
The Muruwari cricketer, whose mother and ancestors come from north-western New South Wales, took to social media on Sunday morning to share her desire to educate Aussies on just what the national holiday means to Indigenous peoples. Gardner is currently the number one ranked T20I all-rounder in the world and would look to stamp her authority in the series.