Test cult hero Scott Boland has expressed support for Ashleigh Gardner’s suggestion that Australia Day should be celebrated on a different day, but he did not call for matches not to be played on January 26.
The Australian men’s team will play on Australia Day next year, with a day-night test against the West Indies at the Gabba starting January 25.
Indigenous women’s cricketer Ash Gardner has criticized the schedule, saying it was not “appropriate” to play sports on a “day of mourning.”
“I see sports as a party and entertainment and an event that you want to go to,” Gardner told News Corp. on Sunday.
“Why does there have to be something that represents something rather morbid?”
Test star Scott Boland has expressed support for Ashleigh Gardner’s suggestion that Australia Day should be celebrated on a different day
Gardner said it was not ‘appropriate’ for Australia to exercise on a ‘day of mourning’
And Boland, Australia’s only ever Indigenous male test cricketer after Jason Gillespie, supported her position.
“I fully support Ash’s comments. I don’t think January 26 is the day to celebrate,” he said CODE Sports Tuesday in Brisbane.
“It’s not really a fully inclusive day for everyone to celebrate Australia
“We live in such a great country that I think it should be a date for everyone in the country to celebrate, regardless of your background.
“I don’t think it’s the right day to celebrate, but I will still play on that day if I’m selected.”
In January, Gardner criticized Cricket Australia for scheduling the second match of a three match T20 series against Pakistan on Australia Day.
The match was originally scheduled for January 27 in Canberra, but was switched to Hobart on January 26 after South Africa abandoned the men’s ODI series.
The native star, whose mother and ancestors hail from northwestern New South Wales, reiterated her stance over the weekend.
Gardner is a proud Muruwari woman, whose mother and ancestors hail from northwestern New South Wales and spoke out against Australia Day earlier this year
Boland (above) could be selected when Australia is scheduled to face the West Indies in a day-night test at the Gabba on Australia Day next year
Gardner argued that Boland could find himself an equally awkward position if he were to be elected and noted that it would be difficult to get an elder to give a Welcome to Country.
‘I said my opinion [this year] and I told people it mattered,” she explained.
“For this to happen again, but only on the men’s side […] I think there is definitely disappointment around it.
‘I just don’t understand why this one day of the year – a day of mourning, which doesn’t have a good history of what happened on that day – that there has to be cricket.
“It’s probably not overly appropriate.”
Boland’s teammate Usman Khawaja said he enjoyed playing cricket on January 26, but agreed that it was not the right date to celebrate Australia Day.
“We should celebrate on a day that is appropriate for all parts of Australia, and I’m very much in favor of that in Australian cricket as well,” he said.
Usman Khawaja said he has no problem playing cricket on Australia Day but thinks the party should be held on a different day
“You have First Nations people, we have myself [who are] immigrants to Australia.
‘We have to look into it. I think it doesn’t matter when you celebrate Australia Day – the reasons why you celebrate Australia Day are more important.
“You celebrate for Australia, celebrate for you, celebrate for me, celebrate for First Nations people, celebrate for all the multicultural communities we have across Australia.
“We are all immigrants here, except First Nations people, so for me Australia Day is a beautiful day and I really believe it should be celebrated on a different day.”