Sri Lanka's first Test captain Bandula Warnapura passes away

Bandula Warnapura
Bandula Warnapura was an opener and a medium-pacer. File photo: IANS

Colombo: Sri Lanka's first Test captain Bandula Warnapura, who later became national coach and administrator, passed away while undergoing treatment at a private hospital here on Monday.

The 68-year-old had been admitted to ICU after he was diagnosed with high sugar levels, hindering blood circulation.

Warnapura captained during Sri Lanka's maiden Test against England in Colombo in 1982 and went on to play three more Tests and 12 ODIs. But his impressive cricketing career was cut short when he was handed a life ban for touring apartheid South Africa with a rebel team in 1982-83.

However, in 1991, Warnapura became the national coach and administrator of the Sri Lankan Cricket Board. He was appointed as the Director of Coaching in 1994 and later in 2001 he was given the post as the Director of Operations, Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC).

Warnapura also worked as an ICC match referee and an umpire and refereed two Tests and three ODIs in 2001. He was also the Development Manager of the Asian Cricket Council.

An opening batsman and a medium-pace bowler, Warnapura led Sri Lanka to victory against India during the 1979 World Cup. This was the only victory Sri Lanka, then an Associate Member, achieved during the 1979 edition.

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