From the European Cricket League to the Big Bash League, Pavel Florin’s journey is a unique one.
In 2019, the Romanian cult hero made global headlines after footage of him bowling for Cluj Cricket Club went viral on social media platforms.
His bowling action was ridiculed, but he won over the cricket community with his post-match remarks.
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“Maybe someone says my bowling is not beautiful or not effective but I don’t care, because I love cricket,” Florin said at the time.
Three years later, the Melbourne Stars have signed the 43-year-old as an ambassador for the upcoming Big Bash campaign.
Florin, who touched down in Australia on Friday morning, will join the Stars in the dugout for the first couple of group stage matches, occasionally popping into the commentary box.
After making a cameo appearance for Surrey Hills Cricket Club in the 2019/20 summer, which he described as the “best cricket adventure of my life”, he hopes to play another match for the side before returning to Europe.
“In my life, the No. 1 is cricket … I do anything to play,” Florin told foxsports.com.au.
“If a man from Transylvania can come and play for the Melbourne Stars, everybody can, so nothing is impossible.”
Florin, who works as a bouncer in Transylvania, has served a small role in helping Ukraine migrants during this year’s war with Russia.
Thousands of women and children fled the country following the Russian invasion, and Pavel transported hundreds of them 170km from the Ukrainian border to Transylvania, where they were provided temporary accommodation.
According to Pavel, about 10-15 per cent of the migrants are still living in his hometown, displaced and uncertain about their future.
“Some people offered accommodation, while I was the driver who would go to the border, pick up people and come back,” he explained.
“I did this for three weeks.
“It was mostly children and women, because the men stayed (in the Ukrainian) to fight.”
The Stars get their Big Bash campaign underway against the Sydney Thunder at Canberra’s Manuka Oval on Tuesday, with the first ball scheduled for 7.15pm AEDT.
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