Cricketer Gardner lashes Jan 26 T20 game

Cricket Australia believes scheduling a women's T20 match on January 26 is an opportunity to continue an "ongoing education journey" with the Indigenous community after allrounder and Muruwari woman Ashleigh Gardner raised concerns about the fixture.

The second Indigenous woman to play Test cricket for Australia, Gardner said the day the first fleet arrived in Australia in 1788 was a "day of hurt and a day of mourning" for Indigenous Australians.

"Unfortunately this year the Australian women's cricket team has been scheduled to play a game on the 26th of Jan which certainly doesn't sit well with me as an individual but also all the people I'm representing," she tweeted.

"For those who don't have a good understanding of what that day means it was the beginning of genocide, massacres and dispossession."

As part of its Reconciliation Action Plan, CA consults with an Indigenous advisory committee that approved the decision to play the fixture against Pakistan in Hobart on January 26.

The recommendations of the same committee prompted CA to stop referring to January 26 as "Australia Day" in 2021, a change that was met with both criticism and support.

As part of the decision to play on January 26, the Australian team will perform a smoking ceremony before the match and embark on a walk around local mountain Kunanyi to learn about the local community.

They will also wear a special Indigenous kit designed by two Indigenous women and have consulted with Dr Janine Mohamed, a Narrunga Kaurna woman and community leader, to understand the impact of January 26 on First Australians.

"Cricket Australia acknowledges 26 January is a day that has multiple meanings and evokes mixed feelings in communities across our richly diverse nation," a CA statement read.

"We respectfully acknowledge it is a challenging day for many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and for some people the day is regarded as a day of mourning.

"Cricket Australia understands and acknowledges Ash's position and appreciates her leadership and the contributions of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to the game of cricket.

"We will use the T20 International scheduled for 26 January as an opportunity to continue our ongoing education journey with First Nations people."

But AAP understands the decision to play the game on January 26 did not sit well with the playing group, of which Gardner has been a regular member since 2017.

After Gardner tweeted her concerns, Australian teammates Jess Jonassen, Alana King and Hannah Darlington all voiced their support for her stance.

Gardner said she would use her profile as a professional cricketer to educate others as to the connotations of the day.

"My culture is something I hold close to my heart and something I'm always so proud to speak about whenever asked," she tweeted.

"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."

The Australian women's team last played on January 26 in 2016, and the men's team in 2019.

Big Bash games are often scheduled for January 26 but none will be played on that date this summer.

AAP understands this decision was not politically motivated and was made so the finals series could begin on a Friday rather than Thursday.