A Transylvanian bodyguard has become a cricket internet sensation due to his bowling technique, but stands by his unorthodox style.
A video of Pavel Florin playing in the European Cricket League for Cluj Cricket Club against France’s Dreux on Tuesday has been watched hundreds of thousands of times on Twitter and garnered hundreds of comments.
Ladies and gentlemen … welcome to the #EuropeanCricketLeague
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) July 30, 2019
“Maybe someone says my bowling is not beautiful or not effective but I don’t care, because I love cricket,” he told the European Cricket League.
Reaction on the social media platform varied from mickey-taking to support for Florin, a fitness fanatic who says he works as a bodyguard.
One user replied to a post by broadcaster @FoxCricket saying: “If that’s the standard there may be a chance for me in the euro leagues…. #Pies.”
Another account was in more of a positive mood: “Good on em! Got 2 start somewhere!”
Former Australia batsman Mark Waugh responded: “I reckon that would be very hard to hit.”
The 40-year-old Florin, who took up cricket at the age of 32, is featuring in the first edition of the 10-over eight-team European tournament which includes sides from the Netherlands, Spain and Italy.
In an interview with the competition’s website in May, the Romanian said his role model was South African AB de Villiers and revealed his top score was 36 in a league match for Cluj.
Asked if he had ever been a hero for his team, Florin said: “I drove 500km during night time for nine straight hours just to reach the match in the morning. I stayed 14 overs on the ground and scored 34 runs not out.
“I would not call it a hero act, but it is the match that gave me confidence that I can be a good cricket player.”
The Romanians lost their third and final pool stage fixture to Dreux, based to the west of Paris, by 95 runs, a result which means they must settle for a place in the second-tier ‘minor’ semi-finals held on Friday.
Two ‘major’ semi-finals also take place at the end of the week, as well as the final, in the Spanish town of La Manga.