Trevor Henry Interview

Tell us about your playing career?

Being a Technical schoolboy and not coming from a cricket playing family or living in a cricket village I never played NCU cricket until after I was married.

I had played street cricket but my passion was football. I was a Northern Ireland Youth International and I played for Glenavon as a teenager.

It wasn't until I joined the Post Office/British Telecom that I played competitive cricket. I got to know the Guy brothers, Denis&Tom and we played in company cup competitions.

This led to BTNI playing in regional competitions and because of the troubles mainland teams were reluctant to travel to NI so we got more than our share of away matches.These games were usually fixed to coincide with Test &ODI's.

We saw matches at Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge & Headingley.We even saw tennis at Wimbledon, athletics at Crystal Palace and football at Ibrox Park. A rare occurrence I hear some of you say!

Unlike some newlywed young men I was encouraged to play cricket so I joined Laurlevale where I turned out for Harold McCrory and Adrian Campbell in the Thirds until I bought a house overlooking Chambers Park.

I joined Portadown C.C where the highlight was the 1984 Junior Cup Final when we lost to Ballymena 2nds over the 2 days.

When & why did you begin umpiring?

Then as now a shortage of umpires required the teams to umpire the games themselves, a chore to some but I enjoyed it.

Subsequently, Beattie Arlow vouched for my prowess and I was asked to umpire my first match, a two-nighter, Muckamore v Instonians.

A couple of years later I decided that I preferred umpiring Senior cricket to playing Junior cricket so I gave up playing. A huge loss to the lower divisions!

What games stand out and for what reasons?

The Ireland v Australia match stands out but was also the biggest disappointment because what started as a great occasion turned sour due to the terrible rain.

The I.C.U and N.I.C.C had pulled out all the stops to make it a day to remember for all the Irish cricket fans but somebody was rain dancing in Belfast.

Also worth a mention was Ireland beating Zimbabwe at a canter in 2003.

How has the game changed over the years?

I couldn't really comment on anything beyond the last 20 years but I would say that the players are generally fitter and more agile and better prepared than ever.

On the negative side the teams are increasingly reliant on the overseas pro.

What changes would you make to improve the local game?

The good thing about the local game is the fact that if the players and clubs want change they can have it.

I don't think an All Ireland League would work because of our unpredictable weather. Re-arrangements would be impossible to schedule at weekends,one bad summer would finish it. I also think that sporting competition is enhanced by local rivalry.

Which players have you enjoyed watching?

I have seen a lot of fine players from a privileged position behind the stumps but I will name just two who immediately come to mind.

Raman Lamba's batting was a pleasure to watch from 22 yards away and when Colin Magowan came on to bowl you knew you would see something different.

What is your opinion of the current Ireland team?

The Irish side are currently on the crest of a wave and hopefully all the England based players will be available for all the important upcoming games.The newly qualifed players have added strength in depth to a talented group of players.The success of the under age teams is very important in player development.