Former Sri Lanka captain Bandula Warnapura has passed away at the age of 68 after a short battle with illness
Bandula Warnapura, the first person to ever captain Sri Lanka in a Test match, has died at the age of 68.
Warnapura led Sri Lanka in their first-ever Test against England in 1982 and played a total of four Test matches and 12 ODIs.
He passed away at a private hospital in Colombo, with ESPNcricinfo reporting that Warnapura had been struggling with diabetes and that his condition deteriorated on Monday.
Warnapura also worked within Sri Lankan cricket as an administrator, having returned to the game after being handed a ban for going on a rebel tour of apartheid South Africa.
In a statement, Sri Lanka Cricket paid tribute to Warnapura, saying: “We wish to express our condolences to the family at this difficult time on behalf of Sri Lanka’s Cricketing fraternity.
“Warnapura who led Sri Lanka to its first ever Test Match against England at the P. Saravanamuttu Stadium in 1982, was also a much respected Cricket Administrator having held the position of Director, Cricket Operations at SLC and also served the Asian Cricket Council for many years.
“He was also a much admired cricket commentator and shared his wealth of knowledge and experience on the sport on several television platforms.”
Warnapura leaves behind his wife, daughter, two sons and grandchildren.
The likes of Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara, Sanath Jayasuriya and current Sri Lanka captain Dasun Shanaka have also paid tribute on social media.
“It’s Sad to hear the news of SL first test captain Bandula Warnapura’s demise after a brief illness”, Jayawardene wrote.
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“Thoughts are with his wife and children.. He coached me at Nalanda and was a steady influence in my growth as a cricketer and a person. May you attain Nibbana Sir !!!”
Sangakkara wrote: “Deeply saddened by the passing away of Bandula Warnapura. He did immense service to Sri Lankan and Asian cricket as a player and an administrator.
“It was such a joy to chat to him on everything cricket. A good and gentle man. We will miss him. Our thoughts are with his loved ones”
“It is a sad day that the first test captain Bandula Warnapura has played his last innings”, Jayasuria wrote. “RIP we will miss you sir .”
Shanaka wrote: “Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Sri Lanka’s first test captain Sir Bandula Warnapura.
“My deepest condolences to his family at this difficult time. May you attain the supreme bliss of nibbana.”