Indigenous cricketer Ashleigh Gardner has slammed the decision to schedule an international match on Australia Day.
The Australian women’s side is set to take on Pakistan in a three-match twenty-twenty international series that kicks off on Tuesday (January 24).
The second game will take place in Hobart on January 26.
The 25-year-old, who also plays for the Sydney Sixers in the Women’s Big Bash League, lashed out at the decision to host the game on the controversial day.
Writing on Twitter, she said: “As a proud Muruwari woman and reflecting on what January 26 means to me and my people it is a day of hurt and a day of mourning.
"My culture is something I hold close to my heart and something I’m always so proud to speak about whenever asked."
She added: "I also am fortunate enough to play cricket for a living which is something I dreamt of as a kid."
The Sixers player believes that not only does the decision not ‘sit-well’ for her but for the people she’s ‘representing’.
She said: "Unfortunately this year the Australian women’s cricket team has been scheduled to play a game on the 26th of January which certainly doesn’t sit well with me as an individual but also all the people I’m representing”
Gardner will still play on January 26, however the all-rounder described says it will be a 'day of mourning' that needs to be recognised as the 'beginning of genocide, massacres and dispossession'.
"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,” Gardner said.
"For those who don’t have a good understanding of what that day means it was the beginning of genocide, massacres and dispossession."
She added: "When I take the field for this game I will certainly be reflecting and thinking about all of my ancestors and peoples lives who changed from this day."
Cricket Australia has not scheduled any Big bash League games on Australia Day this year.
They have chosen not to refer to the day in any marketing or publicity for the international match on Thursday.
Featured Image Credit: Colin Edwards / Alamy. Selfwood / Alamy.