After more than 30 years in club cricket, John Threlkeld still loves to be in the middle of the action.

Previously involved in cricket in North Canterbury, Threlkeld moved to South Canterbury in 1980, and since has held a multitude of roles within the game.

Describing himself as a “pretty average all-rounder” during his playing days, a willingness to stay involved in the game made him become an umpire 20 years ago.

Threlkeld said being in charge out on the pitch could be a thankless and tiring job at times, but he enjoyed it.

“I still like being involved in the game, and seeing the game up close.”

The changes Threlkeld had seen in cricket over the years had been minimal, but significant, with bats being lighter than ever and pitches on the improve.

Threlkeld said his proudest moment in cricket was his involvement with junior cricket, when he was coach of the South Canterbury team which won the South Island primary school tournament in 1996, 1997 and 2006

“There’s been some good cricketers from here.”

Former Black Cap Craig Cumming and former Otago representative Jordan Shead were coached by Threlkeld during their early years. He said watching young players improve their technique and grow as players was the most enjoyable part of coaching.

Threlkeld said he had no problem with technology being used to make sure the umpires make the right decision.

“At the end of the day, umpires aren’t going to get every decision correct.”

Threlkeld said he would continue to be involved in the game for as long as possible.

“As long as I still feel I am contributing, then I’ll be around.”

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