By Stewart Perrie
Cricket Australia (CA) has decided to ask for all references to Australia Day be dropped during Big Bash League (BBL) matches on January 26.
There will be three BBL games played over the public holiday, however the sport's governing body doesn't want there to be any focus on the fact it's Australia Day.
After consulting with Indigenous leaders, CA thought it would be a nice way to respect First Nation people on a day that is becoming increasingly controversial.
Cricket Australia Diversity and Inclusion manager Adam Cassidy said in a statement: "Even referencing it as January 26, you'll see in CA marketing collateral, we'll reference it as that, but that's not to say some clubs might still call it Australia Day.
"That's fine and that's their call.
"As a stretch reconciliation action plan organisation, we know we have a higher level of accountability to be leaders in this space. In many ways it forces our hand to be a bit braver in how we operate.
"Ultimately I think if we got it right, people who have traditionally come to the cricket on that day and have had a ripping day shouldn't notice anything different. It's really the cohort of people who aren't comfortable with the day that we hope we've made enough tweaks to make it a safe enough environment to also enjoy the day.
"It's not about changing the day for those who love it, it's about creating an environment others (can also enjoy)."
Cricket Australia is sticking by their decision and has suggested the six teams who will be competing on the day, which are Brisbane Heat, Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Renegades, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers, to follow suit.
The teams have been permitted to wear Indigenous strips or take a knee before they play.
The Stars and Sixers have been forming a barefoot circle during the season, a ceremonial move that has been allowed at other teams if they wish.
CA's decision has been criticised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who wants the governing body to 'focus on cricket and a little less focus on politics'.
"I think that's pretty ordinary - that's what they're putting on their press releases - that would be my view," he said to radio station 4RO.
Featured Image Credit: Melbourne Stars/Facebook
Topics: Scott Morrison, Cricket News, Australia