Cricket Australia stands firm on 'Australia Day' decision

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Cricket Australia (CA) is standing its ground in not referring to January 26 as “Australia Day” as part of its Big Bash League (BBL) promotions, after consultation with its Indigenous advisory committee.

CA has been criticised by Prime Minister Scott Morrison for opting to drop the term as part of its effort to normalise conversations over the date’s history, while three BBL clubs will wear Indigenous-inspired uniforms in matches on January 23, 25 and 26.

The co-chair of CA’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cricket Advisory Committee, Mel Jones, said she supported the decision not to make reference to “Australia Day”.

“It’s recognition that it’s a really hurtful day for many,” Ms Jones said.

“We’ve got five Indigenous players playing those games and a lot of Indigenous fans that come to the cricket, we just want to make this space as safe and inclusive as possible.”

Ms Jones, a retired Australian women’s Test and ODI player, said CA would be prepared to discuss its decision with Mr Morrison.

“Cricket Australia is very comfortable with where it’s at,” she said.

“It’s come from a cricket decision space, [we’re] more than happy to have a conversation with the Prime Minister, more just so he can see where we’re coming from.

“It opens up these conversations, otherwise there’s no change at all. Some people aren’t open to change, but I think a change where people are happy on this day and feel safe, I think that’s a good space to get into.

“We don’t get a choice whether to be a role model in sports these days, but you do get the choice to be a good one or a bad one.”Mr Morrison described CA’s decision as “pretty ordinary”.

“Cricket fans would like to see Cricket Australia focus a lot more on cricket and a lot less on politics,” he said.

But Jones said sport had never been separated from politics.

“Seriously, sport has been involved in politics from year dot in a variety of different fronts, not just in Australia but right around the globe,” she said.

“Hopefully, it sends a message just to be kind to people, that we are listening more, and that’s the kind of Australia we want to get to isn’t it?”

BBL player support ‘helping that conversation’

BBL players welcomed the move from CA, saying they hoped it would promote discussion about equality.

“Some of the injustices in society these days aren’t right and the more we can educate and learn about it the better,” Perth Scorchers bowler Andrew Tye said.

Tye said cricketers were doing their bit to make a difference.

“I’m all for equality, and if that’s their view on helping that conversation, helping that topic along, well, then I’m all for it,” he said.

“I daresay the majority of the people, as players, will be for making society a better place.

Former Test batter Peter Handscomb, who had been captaining Hobart Hurricanes in the BBL this season, said he agreed with CA’s stance.

The Scorchers will be one of the teams wearing the Indigenous-inspired uniforms, while Welcome to Country and barefoot circle ceremonies will be among some of the other initiatives used before some matches.

“This isn’t a tokenistic act – this is just one part, we want to incorporate Indigenous language more into daily conversation, so we talk about a Yorta Yorta man or Kulin nation, people know the area you’re talking about,” Jones said.

It is not the first time Mr Morrison has voiced his opinion regarding Australia’s sporting codes.

He successfully lobbied the NRL to backflip on decision to not play the national anthem during the men’s State of Origin series.

CA, however, is not budging.

“Cricket is such an integral part of Australia way back to 1868 when the first Indigenous team toured England, so we want to be respectful and open our doors to a group that we probably had them closed to for too long,” Jones said.

“We are big enough to say we haven’t always got it right, but we are ready to have those hard conversations and ready to listen more.”

What do you think of the PM’s comments? Should ‘sport and state’ be separated?

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76 Comments

Total Comments: 76
  1. 20
    3

    “Cricket fans would like to see Cricket Australia focus a lot more on cricket and a lot less on politics,” exactly!!! I’m tired of this BS!

    • 14
      1

      I agree, Cricket does not need this kind of rubbish distractions after seeing their sad performances recently. Cricket Australia is again letting the players down, just like they did in the last test tour of SA, shame on you again!

    • 4
      8

      I would like to thank the writers of the articles criticising CA. I think that many of these articles are vitriolic, arrogant, divisive and white racist (you know! like Hitlers). Their comments demonstrate perfectly why there is a strong need for the conciliatory and forward looking attitude of CA. Well done CCA – I support you fully and hope others follow your excellent example.

    • 2
      0

      You misspelt your name. Check with Nick Nick Kyrgios, he’ll help you out.

  2. 17
    4

    Totally agree Tood. I’m sick to death of this invasion crap. Get over it, it happened over 200 hundred years ago. Concentrate on living in todays world.

  3. 16
    2

    Organizations like Cricket Australia and QANTAS in trying to curry favour with the Left are only increasing divisions within this great country.
    It seems that some politicians are also willing to accept a biased view of Australian history.

  4. 16
    4

    Totally agree .Plus Most of the current young Aboriginal advocates are as much Aboriginal as I’m from Mars…….

  5. 14
    0

    Where are all these changes leading to. Change Australia Day, change the National Anthem, change the flag, change the history books, get rid of the statues, take the knee, give the BLM salute, keep saying your sorry for past injustices- it just keeps going on. Whats the point. Stop playing the victim card because nothing will change if you go down that line. Appreciate how lucky we are to live in this country and appreciate how immigrants of all different nationalities have contributed so much!! I wish the millennials would study history a bit more – most countries in the world have been invaded and most races have been suppressed at some time .

    • 8
      0

      Once again the lunatics are taking over the asylum.

    • 5
      0

      Well said Big Al – we should ALL appreciate this Great Southland and how we have ALL contributed.
      As an aside – do we have many indiginous players in our National Cricket Team. Not being a total cricket fan I just wondered – as we have lots in other codes.

    • 5
      1

      All well and good BigAl except it is not Aboriginal people who are demanding these things, but white men who think they know better and know what Aboriginal people want. Talk about patronising white privilege!

    • 1
      0

      BigAl, I would love to say “most races have been suppressed at some time” but now all is fine and everybody is living fairly and equally and happily. But they do not. Why don’t you read up a bit about history yourself? Like about the last 20 years – how many people from which backgrounds went to jail, died in custody, died younger than the average, etc etc etc. Then sing we are YOUNG and free, and realize which part of this country that represents – the ex-convicts and their guards, who still need their Monarchy.

  6. 12
    1

    I’ve really had a gutful of this nonsense. If the so-called white invaders haven’t settled Australia in the 1780’s, there would not be one standing structure in the whole of what is known as Australia at this point in time. This problem can easily be fixed, by withdrawal funding from cricket Australia, to put it bluntly take away the white people’s money. Have it fully funded by black people’s money, then we wouldn’t have to worry about watching cricket or any other sport would we. So no arguments about what they’re called, when they play, where they play. The same applies to public holidays and the distribution of all monies. It’s really very simple isn’t it. A little tongue-in-cheek but not far off the mark I feel. Have a good Australia Day, 26th of January, Cheers Jacka.

  7. 13
    1

    What a bloody nerve!!!
    This is supposed to be a day of the year when ALL Australians can celebrate their own country and be proud together and at this point in history, we have a hell of a lot to be proud of! Now that Cricket Australia have moved to the left, perhaps they might consider forming a political party; sounds like they might be better at that than cricket anyway. Put on you green and gold and throw a snag on the barby and get over it. Whether you are black, white yellow brindle or green, it does not matter; you will still look good in green and gold!
    Tones

    • 2
      6

      Why is it when anyone has an apposing augument with something from the right they are automatically labelled leftist.What this means is that all rightists think they are never wrong.

      I guess now I will be labeled a leftist.

    • 0
      0

      Totally agree.

    • 0
      1

      This is NOT a left/right issue.

    • 1
      0

      Pretend you do not know. That way, you can walk past those “other than yours” in the street without feeling any guilt. “Move on and get over it!” You prefer not to know how many “other’s” kids from 10 years of age are in jail. How many “others” die in police custody. What the hell the big meeting at Uluru was all about. Not your problem, eh? And neither should Cricket Australia think about it – they should just provide you with happy days and barbies.

      “ALL Australians can celebrate their own country and be proud together and at this point in history” – realize that they don’t care and do not want to know about what aborigines experience, in this country, which is also theirs, AND ALWAYS WILL BE.

  8. 4
    0

    It’s about power and money.

  9. 14
    1

    Cannot support CA in this..their role is to promote Cricket not Political Agendas, would much rather they drop all Gambling Forums from their advertising and sponsorship.

    • 2
      1

      Yes – the only people who should promote political agendas, are the Murdoch Press!
      We normal people should just go “Baaaah!” and follow our great leader, Scotty.
      That way, nobody can point us out as the people who did nothing while the bad stuff happened. We do not know why these black people whinge all the time. Nobody told us. We knew nothing. For we are young and free and innocent!

  10. 11
    1

    I’ve just signed a petition suggesting Cricket Australia butt out of politics. 19,000 + had already signed. When will these demigods get the message ?

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