Exclusive: For the love of cricket, Pavel Florin narrates his tale of passion and plight
"I think we judge talent wrong. What do we see as talent? I think I have made the same mistake myself. We judge talent by people's ability to strike a cricket ball. The sweetness, the timing. That's the only thing we see as talent. Things like determination, courage, discipline, temperament, these are also talent", Rahul Dravid once said while describing the often-used term 'talent'.
A few days back, a video of a Romanian bowler emerged, Pavel Florin was the bowler who was bowling in the European Cricket League (ECL) which was being contested from July 29th to July 31st in the ten-over format.
Pavel Florin soon grabbed the spotlight and became an overnight sensation owing to his bowling action as Twitter was left in splits, with a section of people ridiculing the bowling action, while a number of others supported his passion for cricket.
Sportskeeda caught up with Romania's Pavel Florin to get a peek into his mindset and to discover cricket in Europe.
Pavel Florin is the President of the Cluj Cricket Club, a cricket club based in Europe. The passionate 40-year-old is a bodyguard by profession and a cricketer by heart and passion. While having a casual conversation, Pavel narrated a story of him driving for nine continous hours to feature in a match the next day. They have to travel about 500 kilometres for every game as the cricket field is 500 kilometres away from their homes.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) recently made a move to provide T20I status to all the associate nations. Romania is an associate nation recognized by the ICC, the European country has T20I status albeit the lack of facilities and knowledge act as a barrier between development of cricket in the country. Cricketing nations and heroes can emerge from any level, one such example is the increasing popularity of Afghanistan and it's cricketers.
"In my country, the field is 500 kilometres away and the players are scattered all over the country, all the costs for transport, food, accommodation and others are borne by the players. Cricket is not known in the country and is funded by nobody, I want to change this and I want to take the sport throughout the country", said Pavel while narrating his story about traveling a long distance for every game.
The Romanian talked about his practice schedule. "Six days for fitness and one day for cricket practice". The distance between the homes and the ground is evidently a massive reason for the training schedule. Pavel also talked about how Rashid Khan and AB de Villiers are his heroes and how he is making a transition between finding heroes on the television to finding heroes in his own team.
Pavel's bowling action received heavy criticism from some fans. In a post-match interview, he called himself a slow bowler and said, "My bowling is not beautiful but I don't care, I love cricket", even while narrating his story, Pavel emphasized on the fact that cricket is his passion and he loves the game. "I’ve been playing for 8 years, cricket is my passion, I love the sport, it’s a lifestyle which you have to live", Pavel said.
When Afghanistan started their cricketing journey, they had a lot of problems which were enough to halt cricket in the country but heroes like Mohammad Nabi and Rashid Khan emerged and with collaborative efforts, the cricketing world witnessed the rise of a new cricketing nation.
In his country, Pavel is making efforts with other members of his club and his country.
His passion for the game is evident but even with his will to play, he recently met with an accident which caused injuries to him. "If you think about the accident you will not give everything in the match, if you think about the match you will give everything to win", he said, after having displayed his exemplary courage and determination on the field.
While talking about future goals, he said, "I can't predict the future but in the short term I would like to build a field in my city so that all of us can play without having to travel 500 kms. In the long term, I want my national team to play with the best teams in the world and learn from them, I want to bring the romans to play cricket", he signed off, with a ray of hope to improve the sport in his country.