Thursday, 21 April 2011

The Return of Zorro

In the early days of Spanish California, there were many injustices dealt the people by evil Governors. Only one man opposed them, he was garbed in black and his name was ZORRO..................

1920 movie poster
So the introduction to many a film and TV series.  The Legend of Zorro began in 1919 when Johnston McCulley, a 36-year-old former police reporter, wrote The Curse Of Capistrano which appeared in the pulp magazine, All-Story Weekly. Set in early 19th century California it tells the story of Don Diego de la Vega, the son of a rich land owning Californian family. Diego acted soft and fluffy and would rather read poetry than participate in anything manly or which involved violence. Diego’s behavior however, was only an act. For when night fell he became Zorro (‘fox’ in Spanish), a fighter of evils, a righter of wrongs.  A regular Robin Hood.  There is a long and distinguished movie history stretching from Douglas Fairbanks in 1920 through Tyrone Power in 1940 to Antonio Banderas in 1998.  For FB the Tyrone Power version is definitive, including perhaps the best sword fight ever captured on screen with Basil Rathbone - both actors were Test Match Quality swordsmen so this wasn't trick photography.

Yes, yes, FB, you say, but what has this to do with anything?  You're surely not going to give us that tired old routine about finding an undiscovered manuscript of the original Zorro in which he features as a dashing top order batsman are you?

Would FB be so obvious as that?  Yes, but not on this occasion.  Zorro came to mind when FB recently perused this notice on the website of the South California Cricket Association :

The City Parks staff has reported that some cricketers have been playing or practicing on the Woodley wickets/squares during the weekdays.  There are visible signs and damage to the wickets due this unauthorized use of Woodley wickets during the off-season.
This is a warning to all those responsible for unauthorized use of grounds.
The City Parks staff has been directed to take pictures of the culprits and report to the SCCA immediately. The Parks staff also claims to know some of the offenders by face and will help SCCA identify those.
Those found guilty will pay severe penalties and suffer long suspensions for destroying SCCA cricket resources.
Please be aware, and refrain from playing on the squares during the off season.

Or Zorro will get you.

 PS - FB added the final bit.  But wouldn't it be great if respect for cricket squares in public places could be enforced by the swish of a sword blade?
Senor - keep off el square.


  1. An interesting mention of cricket in The USA.FB may be aware that the first ever MCC tour abroad was to North America, in 1872. It is a pity that the tradition has since died out - maybe they were afraid of Zorro.

  2. Many thanks - FB has considered previoulsy aspects of cricket in America - see The Empire Strikes Back posted on 21 February. He found no evidence of Zorro being an influential figure. He suspects this is because he is a fictional character.