While the Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul controversy is yet to be solved by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), another question has popped up regarding the captaincy of Harmanpreet Kaur in the shortest format of the game.
Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul have been suspended from the ongoing series as well as from the upcoming series for their comments which they made on a chat show on TV, named Koffee with Karan. As per the report in The Times of India, senior BCCI officials have questioned India T20 captain Harmanpreet Kaur over her fake graduation degree that made headlines last year.
Earlier, Harmanpreet Kaur’s graduation degree was allegedly found to be fake in a vigilance inquiry conducted by the Chaudhary Charan Singh University (CCSU), Meerut, last year in July. Because of the controversy, she also lost her job as DSP in Punjab police after it was found that her degree was fake. The job she was given for her excellent performance in cricket.
The BCCI official has pointed out board’s double standards and said that Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul were suspended for their wrongdoing and sent back home from Australia but Harmanpreet Kaur continues to play for the country as well as, lead the team in T20 format despite she’s being involved in a fake degree issue.
“If Pandya and Rahul have to serve a suspension pending inquiry, then what about Harmanpreet Kaur? She is the captain of the Indian team at a time when she is being investigated for possessing a fake graduation degree. Someone wants to conveniently protect her but ban these two cricketers for a year,” a BCCI official said to Times of India.
“There is a legal process on, right? Then how is she the captain of the Indian (T20) team. She lost her DSP rank and is still fighting the case. Has the BCCI even tried following up on what happened,” he further added.
After having left her job at Railways last year in March, Harmanpreet Kaur joined Punjab police. The transfer was not at all easy for her as she had bond period left with Railways and she was only allowed to move her base to Punjab after the intervention from Chief Minister Amarinder Singh.
Though after losing the DSP job, she had defended herself in the fake degree controversy by saying that she couldn’t give the post-graduation exams for her overseas cricket tours, she did complete her graduation.
“On the basis of my graduation certificate, I took admission in post graduation course in a different university but could never take my exams because of overseas tournaments. Today, that very degree is being called fake,” Kaur had told last year. “When you did your graduation, did you go to the head office to verify your enrollment number? Nobody does that. I did exactly the same thing. If I am playing, my focus is obviously on cricket. Apart from that, I just wanted to complete my graduation.”
Apart from this, she was recently in news not only for her cricket but also for the difference with the India ODI captain Mithali Raj. She said that Mithali Raj’s exclusion from the team in the semi-final against Australia in the World T20 last year was a collective decision by her, Smriti Mandhana, then coach Ramesh Powar and the selector Sudha Shah.
Later, she and Smriti Mandhana wrote to BCCI in support of Ramesh Powar as the head coach of the team after Mithali Raj’s email to BCCI got leaked where she stated Ramesh Powar’s behavior towards her along with his lack of man-management skills. Though Mithali Raj said that she and Harmanpreet have moved on from the incident in the pre-departure conference prior to their leaving for New Zealand on Sunday, January 13.
Team India will face New Zealand in a three-match ODI and the same number of T20I series in January-February. Mithali will lead the team in ODIs where Harmanpreet Kaur will continue to be her deputy while in T20Is, Harmanpreet Kaur will lead and Smriti Mandhana will be her deputy.