Bandula Warnapura, the first captain of the Sri Lankan Test cricket team, has passed away at 68 years of age. He had passed away while receiving treatment at a private hospital in Colombo after he was hospitalized earlier this month. He has played 4 Test matches and 12 One Day Internationals (ODI) during his international cricketing career from 1975 to 1982.
Sri Lanka’s first-ever Test cricket captain Bandula Warnapura died at the age of 68 at a city hospital in Colombo on Monday.
Bandula Warnapura had his right leg amputated earlier this month after being diagnosed with high sugar levels, which hindered his blood circulation, according to local media reports. An opening batsman with a solid technique, Bandula Warnapura was also a capable medium-pace bowler.
Bandula Warnapura Debuted In ODIs In The 1975 World Cup And Faced First Ball And Scored First Run In Sri Lanka’s First-Ever Test While Captaining The Side
The former opener made his ODI debut in the 1975 World Cup game against the West Indies at Old Trafford. In his next game, he scored a brisk 39-ball 31 against the fearsome pace pair of Australia’s Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson. In 1979, he captained Sri Lanka to a famous victory against India in the next World Cup. He notched up his highest ODI score of 77 versus Pakistan in the 1981-82 season, but it went in vain as Sri Lanka slipped to an eight-wicket loss.
Bandula Warnapura went on to captain Sri Lanka in their first-ever Test versus England in Colombo in 1982. He faced Sri Lanka’s first delivery and scored their first run in Test cricket. In that game, he also achieved the rare record of opening the batting and opening the bowling (second innings) in the same Test match.
Not only did he lead the Sri Lankan side in its maiden Test match in February 1982 against England, but he also faced the first ball and scored the first run for the island nation. He also achieved the rare record of opening the batting and opening the bowling (second innings) in the same game.
Bandula Warnapura Was Handed A Life Ban After Deciding To Tour Apartheid South Africa With A Rebel Team In 1982-83
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) offered its condolences. A sentimental hero of Lankan cricket, Bandula Warnapura represented his country in four Tests and 12 ODIs between 1975 to 1982. He did a commendable job of leading Sri Lanka in their formative years.
“I am deeply saddened by the demise of Bandula Warnapura, who was Sri Lanka’s First Test Captain,” SLC chief Shammi Silva said in a statement.
“He was an excellent cricketer, administrator, coach, commentator, and above all, a good person, and his passing away is a huge loss for the cricketing community. However, I am sure his name and deeds will remain in our hearts forever. May he attain the supreme bliss of Nibbana,” the statement read.
However, he was handed a life ban from Sri Lankan cricket after he decided to tour apartheid South Africa with a rebel team in 1982-83. However, in 1991, Bandula Warnapura re-joined cricket as 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).