Sri Lanka’s first test captain, Bandula Varnapura, was given a 25-year ban for leading a rebel cricket team in South Africa in violation of an international boycott, his colleagues said.
The first Sri Lankan captain to receive a 25-year ban for leading a rebel cricket team in South Africa in violation of an international boycott, his colleagues said. Bandula Varnapura, 68, died of a heart attack after his leg was amputated due to complications from diabetes, loved ones told News Agencies.
Warnapura directed Sri Lanka’s first Test in 1982, scoring 38 runs against England. His international career ended in disaster after four tests when he led a team of local players to South Africa in 1982 and defied the government’s ban on any sporting contact with the then apartheid regime.
He and other players were banned for 25 years, but were repealed in 1990, allowing Varnapura to take an active role in coaching.
After the widely criticized AROSA Sri Lanka rebel tour, he never played international cricket again.
Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayavardena paid tribute to Varnapura who was one of his coaches as a young cricketer.
“He coached me at Nalanda (college) and had a steady impact on my growth as a cricketer and male,” the 44-year-old wrote on Twitter.
Another former Sri Lankan captain, Sanat Jayasuria, added that Varnapura was missing.
“It’s a sad day as the first captain Testa Bandula Varnapura made his last pass,” Jayasuria wrote on Twitter.