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CRICKET IN MADRID BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR
 
8th July 2007

ALVARO D'ORS

Gabriel Perez is currently writing a book about his father Alvaro d'ors who started a cricket club in the late 1920s in Madrid. The members where all people about the same age as he and Spanish anglophiles rather than ex-pats.Gabriel has been kind enough to provide Cricket Espana with exclusive excerpts and photos from the book which is due to be published later this year. Many thanks to Gabriel Perez and his son Pablo Perez d'ors for taking the time out to write to Cricket Espana. A copy of the e-mail and photo from Gabriel is reproduced in full, in Spanish below.

Estimado señor:

Perdone mi retraso en contestarle. Con mucho gusto le envío los párrafos correspondientes al cricket de la biografía de Álvaro d’Ors, que todavía no está editada. Espero terminar algunos flecos que me faltan y que, a finales de este año pueda estar en la imprenta. También le incluyo una fotografía tomada en algún lugar de Madrid en 1930, en la que se puede ver al protagonista convenientemente ataviado para la ocasión. El párrafo que hay en cursiva corresponde a una cita inédita del propio A. d’Ors.

Saludos cordiales.

Gabriel Pérez

 

 

Extracto de Álvaro d’Ors, sinfonía de una vida:

”Por lo que se refiere al juego del críquet -que en los años 20 no era conocido en España- hay constancia fotográfica: Álvaro d’Ors, elegantemente vestido, tal como se practicaba en el momento, con americana azul marino, con un ribete blanco y pantalones también blancos. Su afición fue tal que llegó a tratar de difundir la práctica de este juego a través de una entrevista en la que aparece como su introductor en España:

En mi educación oficial tuvo el Deporte un papel importante, aunque yo, como más inclinado a leer, escribir y hablar, no pasara de ser un mediocre deportista; sin embargo, por cierta anglofilia de mi adolescencia, figuré, en alguna página deportiva de los finales años ‘20, como “introductor del críquet en España”. Fue esa una iniciativa pronto frustrada, pues para ese deporte se requería un césped y una flema que no tenemos los españoles.”

IN ENGLISH..

Dear Sir,

 

I apologise for the delay in replying. It is pleasure to forward you the excerpt on cricket from the as yet unpublished Álvaro d’Ors biography. I hope to finish off some final editing and have it at the printer’s by the end of this year. I am also sending you a photograph of the biographee, suitable attired for the occasion, taken somewhere in Madrid in 1930. The paragraph in italics is an unpublished quote from Mr d’Ors.

 

Warm regards,

Gabriel Pérez.

The excerpt says:

Excerpt from Álvaro d’Ors, symphony of a life:

”As far as cricket is concerned – in the twenties the game was unknown in Spain – there is photographic evidence: Álvaro d’Ors is captured smartly dressed, as was the cricketing style at the time, wearing a navy blue jacket with white bordering and white trousers also. He was so keen on the game that he even tried to publicise it in an interview where he is styled as the man who brought the sport to Spain:  

“Sport played an important part in my formal education, although I was always more inclined towards reading, writing and talking, so I was never anything more than a very average sportsman. Having said that, and because I was a bit of an anglophile in my youth, at the end of the twenties I appeared in the sports section of certain newspapers as “the man who introduced cricket to Spain”. My ambitions were soon shattered as cricket has to be played on grass and demands a phlegmatic character that we Spaniards do not possess.”