'Sad day': Cricket world in mourning after devastating tragedy

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·Sports Reporter
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Sir Lankan cricket legend Bandula Warnapura during his first Test match.
Sir Lankan cricket legend Bandula Warnapura has died age 68. (Getty Images)

Tributes are pouring in after the death of Sir Lankan cricket legend Bandula Warnapura following his death at the age of 68.

The cricket world has rallied together to mourn the death of Warnapura who became the first Sri Lankan Test captain back in 1982.

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Warnapura was an opening batsman and bowled medium pace during his four Test matches, which included facing Sir Lanka's first ever ball against England in Colombo.

He played in 12 One Day Internationals and featured in the 1975 and 1979 World Cups.

Following his Test captaincy, Sri Lanka was promoted to the highest-level of cricket.

However, Warnapura was banned from cricket in Sri Lanka after a controversial decision in 1982.

His decision to join a tour to South Africa, which was in sporting isolation because of its apartheid policies, resulted in bans from Sri Lanka's government and the national cricket board.

He was one of three players from Sri Lanka's inaugural Test XI who received life bans, which were lifted after several years.

Warnapura didn't go back into cricket by the time his ban was lifted and instead worked in broadcast and commentary.

Bandula Warnapura, pictured here with Pakistan captain Azhar Ali and his Sri Lankan counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne in 2019.
Bandula Warnapura (L) with Pakistan captain Azhar Ali and his Sri Lankan counterpart Dimuth Karunaratne in 2019. (Photo by AAP)

Tributes flow for Bandula Warnapura

Tributes have poured in following Warnapura's death.

"He was an excellent cricketer, administrator, coach, commentator and, above all, a good person, and his passing away is a huge loss for the cricket community," Sri Lanka Cricket President Shammi Silva said in a statement posted Monday on Twitter.

"I am sure his name and deeds will remain in our hearts forever."

A number of high-profile cricket greats also paid their respects.

with AAP

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