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, Warnapura was also a capable medium-pace bowler.
Not only did he lead the Sri Lankan side in its maiden Test match in February 1982 against England, 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.
Sri Lanka Cricket is deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Bandula Warnapura, Sri Lanka’s first Test Capt… https://t.co/AmQgvmvm1d
— Sri Lanka Cricket 🇱🇰 (@OfficialSLC) 1634545838000
It’s Sad to hear the news of SL first test captain Bandula Warnapura’s demise after a brief illness. Thoughts are w… https://t.co/YlPQQiXWrc
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) 1634534391000
“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.
It is a sad day that the first test captain Bandula Warnapura has played his last innings. RIP we will miss you sir… https://t.co/MpmRC0h39u
— Sanath Jayasuriya (@Sanath07) 1634534209000
“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.
Saddened by the passing of Bandula Warnapura sir . My deepest sympathies to the family and friends. Luckily I had… https://t.co/mCr7PwHU7C
— Upul Tharanga (@upultharanga44) 1634540050000
A sentimental hero of Lankan cricket, Warnapura represented his country in four Tests and 12 ODIs between 1975 to 1982.
Deeply saddened by the passing away of Bandula Warnapura. He did immense service to Sri Lankan and Asian cricket as… https://t.co/O8O58SXFaI
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) 1634542242000
He did a commendable job of leading Sri Lanka in their formative years.
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.
Really sadness that we hear that our 1st test captain sir bandula Warnapura has passed away.. thoughts and prayers… https://t.co/lTQC2EXMWw
— dinesh chandimal (@chandi_17) 1634536473000
He later served as the national team’s coach as well as an administrator at Sri Lanka Cricket.