As England fast bowler Jofra Archer terrorised the Australian batsman on Day 5 of the second Ashes Test, there was maybe only one man at Lord’s who wasn’t scared of the imposing quick.
Viral Romanian bowling sensation Pavel Florin, who represented his country in the European Cricket League last month but is a professional bodyguard in his day job, says he has no fear of the 90m/h seamer.
“I don’t fear to Jofra Archer because I’m a bouncer,” Florin said of the Aussies’ tormentor.
Stream the 2019 India Tour of West Indies on KAYO SPORTS. Every T20I, ODI and Test LIVE on your TV or favourite device. Get your 14-day free trial >
“I don’t know if I score runs, but I don’t fear.
“He is a cricketer, I am a cricketer. Is a fight, I have a chance, my little chance, but it’s my chance.”
In a hilarious interview on BBC Radio, Florin, who took the game up as a 32-year-old, compared his new-found fame to the unlikely 1988 Winter Olympics Jamaican bobsled team immortalised in the movie Cool Runnings.
“It’s amazing, I don’t believe this because I just play cricket, is nothing special. I feel like the national of the Jamaica bob (sled team),” he said.
In Romania, Florin, who was excited to be a guest of the MCC on day five, said people assumed he was after a different kind of action when he carried his cricket bat in the streets.
“Is the name is Lord’s, I spent one day just buy the clothes for this,” he said.
“Everybody here talk about cricket. Is not usual for me when in Romania I go with the cricket bat on the street the people think I go to the fight.”
A chance meeting with some ex-pat Indians and Pakistanis in his home town encouraged his love of cricket.
“I said ‘let me bat’ and they throw (bowl) me a ball like I throw and I hit the ball, somebody catch it, but the Indians say ‘oh you’re a great batsmen, you’re a future captain of Romanian national team’ and obviously was a lie,” he said, leaving the commentary team in stitches.
“(But they needed a) new player and have to play matches.
“I like this lie because it’s an honour to play with your country.
“The problem is with my city (we) don’t have a field and we need to go 500km just for train and for play our games. 500 there and 500 back.”
He described his unique bowling style where he lobs the ball in the air as slowly as possible “like grenade” and revealed there was method to his madness.
“I tried to be a fast bowler but not working because my techniques is not good and everybody hit me, I’m not stupid, I need to bowl slow,” he said.
“Is not good to go down (flatter), because if go down, everybody hit me. There’s a technique, is a grenade.
“Is working, you see? In ECL is T10 and I have 18 balls and is true, I will bowl some wides, but nobody hit a six on my bowling.”
His bowling initially attracted mockery from online trolls, but he soon became a cult figure, with the likes of Archer and legendary spinner Shane Warne — who he met at Lord’s yesterday — coming out in support.
“Maybe someone says my bowling isn’t beautiful, or not effective but I don’t care because I love cricket,” he said.