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Sri Lanka’s first Test captain Bandula Warnapura dies at 68

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He played 12 ODIs and four Tests in an international career spanning 1975-1982

Bandula Warnapura, Sri Lanka’s first Test captain and a former coach and administrator, has died aged 68 at a private hospital in Colombo. He was understood to have been struggling with diabetes and was rushed to the ICU last week following a spike in his blood sugar levels. He had briefly recovered before his situation worsened on Monday. He leaves behind his wife, daughter, two sons and grandchildren.

The Sri Lanka national side will be wearing black arm bands during their T20 World Cup match against Namibia on Monday as a tribute to Warnapura, SLC said. The Under-19 team that played against Bangladesh in the second Youth ODI in Dambulla on Monday was also seen wearing the same.

Warnapura, an old boy of Nalanda College, played 12 ODIs and four Tests in an international career spanning seven years from 1975-1982. He captained the side in each of his Tests and eight ODIs, including Sri Lanka’s maiden Test in 1982 against England. His 38, while opening the batting in the second innings of that game, would remain his highest Test score.

He made his ODI debut against the West Indies at the 1975 World Cup, and in the same tournament, he scored a memorable 39-ball 31 against an Australian attack led by Jeff Thomson and Dennis Lillee. His sole international half-century came in 1982 in an ODI against Pakistan in Karachi, a 98-ball 77 in a losing cause. He was also a useful right-arm medium pacer picking up eight wickets in ODIs and has the distinction of being one of the few players to have both opened the bowling and the batting in the same Test.

Warnapura’s international career, however, was cut short when he was handed a life ban by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) for touring South Africa with a rebel team in 1982-83. Once the ban was lifted many years later, Warnapura returned to SLC as an administrator following his retirement.

He was part of several cricket and selection committees during his time with the national board, while he has also served in a coaching capacity in the 1990s. Most notably, he was a director of operations at SLC in the early 2000s. In 2008, he resigned from his role at SLC to serve as development manager of the Asian Cricket Council.

Warnapura was also due to make a return to the administrative fold earlier this year, contesting for the post of vice-president at SLC. However, he withdrew citing a lack of faith in Sri Lanka’s sports administrators to right several shortcomings he and his team had pointed out. Primary among Warnapura’s criticism was SLC’s bloated voting structure where the elections utilise 147 votes among 86 stakeholders.





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SJN report – Another delay as CSA ombudsman asks for week’s extension

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“We will have a board meeting soon after we receive the report and then we will release it publicly,” CSA acting CEO Pholetsi Moseki

CSA’s Social Justice and Nation-Building (SJN) report will be delivered to the organisation a week later than scheduled, with the ombudsman, Dumisa Ntsebeza, requesting an extension to the revised November 30 deadline. The report will now be sent to the board on December 6.

Pholetsi Moseki, the CSA acting chief executive, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that the report would be made public after the board has spent time deliberating on its contents: “We will have a board meeting soon after we receive the report and then we will release it publicly.”

The report will contain recommendations made by Ntsebeza on issues relating to discrimination in South African cricket, and is expected to cover issues around the culture in the national teams, selection, match fees, and the grassroots.

CSA is not obligated to implement any of Ntsebeza’s suggestions, but is likely to act on at least some of them.

This is the second time the report has been delayed after it was initially expected to be completed by September 30. The deadline had to be extended after several parties that were implicated in the first phase of testimonies between July 5 and August 6 requested for time to compile their replies, which was granted.
The second phase of testimonies was held in October and included responses by current head coach Mark Boucher, director of cricket Graeme Smith, and former men’s captain AB de Villiers. All three submitted written affidavits and did not appear before the SJN to give oral evidence, and only Boucher’s statement has been made public so far.
Although Ntsebeza had previously indicated that the process could do with more time, it has already run for most of 2021 after the first call for submissions was put out at the end of April. It is believed that CSA had budgeted Rand 5 million (US$ 350,000 approx) for the project but the amount has gone up because of the extensions. The costs have come at a time when CSA is waiting to see if its coffers will be filled by an India tour, scheduled to begin in mid-December but in doubt because of the discovery of a new Covid-19 variant in southern Africa.

South Africa’s men’s team is also due to play New Zealand (away) and Bangladesh (at home) this summer, while the women’s team is scheduled to host West Indies before the Women’s World Cup.

Last week, CSA confirmed that all national teams would continue to take a knee before each match this season to show solidarity with the fight against racism.



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