Viral cricket cult hero’s big Aussie jump
After initially having his visa rejected, Romanian cricketer Pavel Florin will travel Down Under this weekend to represent Surrey Hills Cricket Club.
Florin became an instant cult hero when he featured in the European Cricket League representing Cluj CC earlier this year.
Footage of the 40-year-old's unorthodox bowling style, which features some tentative steps and a hooping lob down the pitch, went viral during their 10-over clash against French side Dreux CC in July.
Florin is the Romanian club's President and also a professional bodyguard in Transylvania.
Surrey Hills CC invited Florin to feature in an exhibition match for the club's Fifth XI on Sunday - however, the Australian Department of Home Affairs rejected his initial visa application.
I'm so disappointed !!— Pavel Florin (@PavelFlorin13) November 13, 2019
I will not play cricket this year
My tourist visa for Australia was rejected.
That's not fair...
Thank's to Surrey Hills CC for the invitation
And send all my love for australian peaple, they always supported me
Maybe next year.. pic.twitter.com/98Gw9Eu0vE
Thankfully, Florin's application was granted 24 hours later.
The Departament of Home Affair change the decision and thank you for that.— Pavel Florin (@PavelFlorin13) November 14, 2019
But I want to believe that whole this good peaple ho supported me in last day make this possible
They are my army and my family
I take my bat and whit the first flight i come to Australia pic.twitter.com/dgeVt0uF6H
Surrey Hills CC President Mal Campbell said Florin's undying passion for the sport is what spurred the Melbourne-based club to extend the invite.
"Just his values, his love of the game and his complete disregard for anyone who made any comment about his ability," Campbell said to the Guardian.
"We just want kids to enjoy playing the game and love cricket, so we thought he was a wonderful ambassador for that approach to the game.
"(Cricket Australia) are very big on inclusivity and people from all sorts of backgrounds playing the game. They're keen on the idea of Pavel coming out and promoting the sport."
Florin stole the hearts of cricket fans across the globe in his post-match interview during the infamous European Cricket League clash.
"Maybe someone say my bowling is not beautiful or not effective. I don't care. I love cricket," said Florin.
"When I bowl, is not beautiful, I know, everybody say, but I is a slow beautiful. Is a problem? I think not."
Shane Warne was among those to throw his support behind Florin earlier this year.
Agree 100% ! Cricket is a beautiful game. Well done and congrats to everyone who made this happen. I would love to check this tournament out next year & help out, if you need a helping hand then hit me up ! Congrats again 👍 https://t.co/vgjMwJ5S0A— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) July 30, 2019
@PavelFlorin13 we are disappointed but already planning the rescheduled visit. We look forward to seeing you playing for us in late Feb and hopefully in time for the women’s t20 World Cup final at the MCG. https://t.co/BmdBerKlXS— Surrey Hills CC (@SurreyHills_cc) November 13, 2019
Cricket definitely the winner! Go well Pavel you beautiful human being! PS! Please don't break the internet again. It still hasn't recovered from your @europeancricket masterclass. I would say BREAK A LEG but....— Mark Lovell (@LovellLowdown) November 14, 2019
Pavel Florin the Romanian cricketer should be trending,absolute hero.Honestly nothing to do with him able to hunt me down & kill me in 0.2 seconds but his passion for cricket is great.His ability to realise he’s no world beater and NOT CARE what people think #pavelflorin— Graham Onions (@BunnyOnions) July 30, 2019