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Harmanpreet Kaur defends herself in fake-degree certificates controversy

ANALYST
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857   //    12 Jul 2018, 20:00 IST

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Harmanpreet in the WBBL

What's the story

Days after reports surfaced on how Indian Women's T20I captain and prolific batswoman Harmanpreet Kaur faked her graduation degree certificate, the player has come out and defended herself against the scam alleged on her. By virtue of the issue, she was supposedly demoted from her post of Deputy Superindent of Police (DSP) to Head Constable (HC) with the Punjab Police Department.

The details

Harmanpreet claimed that had she been aware of something amiss in the situation beforehand, she would have "done graduation again, maybe two or three times over". She had not been available for comment initially as reports emerged as early as July 2nd this year, explaining how Punjab Police was all set to lower her to the head constable ranking. The reports had spoken on how Harmanpreet's numbers did not exist on the records of Chaudhary Charan Singh University, Meerut, the university under whose purview she took her courses, and the same university which now calls out that the player has faked her degree certification.

"I have cleared all my exams and my every certificate is legal. My examination centre used to be in Delhi. My subjects were sociology, political science, English and general awareness," she told the Times of India.

The batswoman went on to say that her degree had even enabled her to apply for post-graduation, although she could never reach the end of that road owing to her ever-busy cricketing schedule.

The Punjab police, the other party involved in the same row, was reported to have decided against a legal action as Harmanpreet is one of the best cricketers in the world and filing an FIR would have led to serious repercussions, such as her losing out on various benefits from the government, and quite possibly, even the Arjuna Award that was bestowed upon her in 2017.

Harmanpreet, however, told the media that the Punjab Police Department had not made any official communication with her about the speculated action they have taken.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh's office was reported to have “written to Harmanpreet that since now her qualification can only be treated as Class XII, she can at best be retained by the Punjab police as a constable," according to a senior government functionary who spoke with the Times of India.

In case you didn't know...

Harmanpreet Kaur has been playing for India since completing her school education, in 2009. In fact, her debut came one day short of her 20th birthday. Since then she has played 2 Test matches, 87 ODIs and 83 T20Is. She was also the T20I captain for the women's team since 2016, and a part of the Women's Big Bash League in Australia in the past two seasons. SHe was also the first Indian player to be signed to play in the Kia Super League, the women's T20 league organised by the England Cricket Board.

Her most celebrated work came in the recent ICC Women's World Cup of 2017 when she smashed her way to a 171 not out in the semifinals against Australia. It was on the basis of her stellar performance in the event that gained her the position of DSP with the Punjab Police. Harman, who was previously an employee of the Indian Railways as an office superintendent, resigned that role to take up her new post.

What's next

If the reports that have emerged are true, Harman risks a fall in position in her job with the Punjab police. It will be in bad light that she goes on to play the upcoming Kia Super League if that happens.

She will be captaining the side that will be touring to West-Indies for the ICC Women's T20 World Cup, scheduled to begin in early November.

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