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Australia Day row: PM Morrison criticises Cricket Australia over words' removal

Australia Day row: PM Morrison criticises Cricket Australia over words' removal”

"You know, 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", Mr Morrison said today.

Additional aspects of the initiative led by Cricket Australia and supported by the Big Bash clubs include barefoot circles, Welcomes to Country and smoking ceremonies that will also take place before the start of some games.

Morrison also came under fire for attacking Cricket Australia over its decision to omit any reference to Australia Day in the lead-up to BBL games being played on Tuesday.

Mr Morrison also sparked anger after saying Australia Day - also known as Invasion Day - was an important date to reflect on how far the country has come.

But critics have accused Mr Morrison of drawing a false equivalence between those aboard the First Fleet and the experience of Australia's Indigenous people who endured forced labor, massacres, oppression and dispossession.

Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has once again copped major backlash after making some dubious comments about the First Fleet ahead of Australia Day on January 26.

Cricket Australia made the decision about promotional materials for its domestic T20 league after consultation with its National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cricket Advisory Committee (Natsicac) on how to handle the date.

"They thought it was pretty important to not remove cultural elements we have celebrated all season on a day like that", Cricket Australia's diversity and inclusion manager Adam Cassidy told AAP. "What the prime minister has said makes no sense", he said.

26 January marks the raising of the Union Jack for the first time in 1788 after the British First Fleet's arrival in Botany Bay the previous week.

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The prime minister is a descendant of William Roberts, who came to Australia as a convict aboard the Scarborough in the First Fleet.

Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister, to this end, branded him "gutless".

Three games are scheduled to be played on 26 January.

The PM's comments were slammed by several Indigenous sporting stars, including Cathy Freeman and Anthony Mundine. Freeman wrote on Twitter.

"I think that's pretty ordinary".

Cricket Australia is sticking by their decision and has suggested the six teams who will be competing on the day, which are Brisbane Heat, Perth Scorchers, Melbourne Renegades, Hobart Hurricanes, Melbourne Stars and Sydney Sixers, to follow suit.

"If we're going to move forward for a better Australia, you have to do your history, research the anthem, research the flag, Australia Day ... that day blood was spilled and genocide was rife. 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".

The survey of 5,000 users' attitudes to Australia Day on Yubo, a French social media platform popular with Generation Z, found 53.6 per cent believe the date should be changed.



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