Bandula Warnapura, the former Director of Operations at Sri Lanka Cricket and the country’s first captain in Tests and ODIs is to be the new Development Manager of the Asian Cricket Council. He replaces Sultan Rana who resumed work at the Pakistan Cricket Board in April.

Bandula Warnapura with Roger Binny, Bangalore, October 2004

The ACC received 29 applications from around the world once the position was advertised on the ACC and ICC websites. A selection process followed, with Mr. Warnapura emerging successful.

Mr. Warnapura, 55, played cricket with distinction for Sri Lanka before they achieved Test status and following retirement became closely involved with Sri Lankan cricket administration. He has been an ICC match referee in Tests and ODIs, is a Level IV certified coach as well as being a Board-qualified Umpire.

After a spell as National Coach he has worked for Sri Lanka Cricket since 1994 as Director of Coaching and since 2001 he has been Director of Cricket Operations. He was Tournament Director of the ICC U/19 World Cup 2006. “He has seen it all and done it all,” says the ACC chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq, “‘Bandu’ brings a wealth of experience to the ACC and I am confident about him.”

Mr. Warnapura has been involved with ACC courses since 2003 and is already well-known to many coaches, umpires and officials in the ACC member countries. His experience in Sri Lanka where he helped to set up a coaching academy and develop school and club cricket will be invaluable when applied to the ACC Development Program.

Speaking from Colombo today he said, that “My first challenge on my first day in the office will be to get to know the cultures of the countries. Then I will start to work on the program I’m planning. My belief is that each country has its own tradition and my job is to best apply what I know to them.” He is expected to start work at the ACC Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur in July.

Mr. Warnapura went on to say, “Cricket is competing with other sports in every ACC country. Ideally there should be a marriage between different sports to develop cricket on a long-term basis. I look forward to seeing the targets the ACC has and meeting with the ACC Development Committee to implement the ACC’s plans.”

Filed June 18, 2008