Indigenous cricketer Dan Christian has told Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “read the room” following his criticism of Cricket Australia’s (CA) decision to drop “Australia Day” from its Big Bash League promotions.
- Christian tweeted the Prime Minister should “take note” of Cricket Australia’s stance
- The all-rounder was supported by fellow Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja
- Mr Morrison described Cricket Australia’s decision as “pretty ordinary”
He described CA’s decision as “pretty ordinary”.
CA also announced this week three BBL clubs would wear Indigenous-inspired uniforms in matches on January 23, 25 and 26.
Christian, a Wiradjuri man who is one of five Indigenous cricketers playing in the BBL, took aim at Mr Morrison on Twitter on Friday afternoon.
The Sydney Sixers all-rounder said Mr Morrison should support CA’s initiative.
“Read the room Mr Prime Minister,” Christian tweeted.
“@CricketAus are leading the way because your government won’t.
“There’ll be millions of kids watching our @BBL games on the 26th January, and they’ll see us taking a knee against racism, and promoting inclusion for all. Take note.”
Fellow Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja applauded Christian for raising his concern with Mr Morrison’s comments.
“I think for ScoMo (Scott Morrison) to say to CA ‘a bit more focus on cricket and a little less focus on politics’ is pretty petty,” Khawaja tweeted.
Mr Morrison said he believed it was important Australia Day was recognised on January 26.
“When those 12 ships turned up in Sydney, all those years ago, it wasn’t a particularly flash day for the people on those vessels either,” he said on Thursday.
“What that day, to this, demonstrates is how far we’ve come as a country and I think that’s why it’s important to mark it in that way.”
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 on Thursday.
“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.”
Although CA has recommended BBL clubs not use “Australia Day”, the two Melbourne franchises, the Stars and the Renegades, have said they would continue to use the term.
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