Vinny Sandhu with six takeaways from his interactive Maximo Chat with guest Pavel Florin.

European Cricket Studio - TAKE 6 with Mr Maximo and Pavel Florin

It was great to have “The Bodyguard” as my first interview guest on my Maximo Show on Tuesday, before following up in our interactive Maximo Chat hour on Thursday for ‘European Cricket Studio Live’.  The more I get to know Pavel, the more fascinating he becomes

We are pleased to be able to bring the European Cricket Studio to you at this time, wherever you are around the world. I have especially enjoyed the experience of getting to know our viewers in the interactive chats, which take place on the Wednesday and Thursday shows each week.

Michael McCann and I will be back from Monday with fresh new guests, Belgium coach Corey Rutgers and Australian fast bowler Jason Behrendorff.

1. Pavel’s favourite shot is the ‘reverse scoop’.

Mr Florin does love a reverse, and it’s probably fitting given that he has found cricket in a way you might describe as ‘backwards’.  When we played together during his Australian tour last November, Pavel told me he had invented a new shot, which he called a ‘reverse-reverse’.  I replied, “So you mean… a regular shot?”

2. Pavel played beach cricket with Sydney Sixers star, Josh Philippe.

While he was Down Under in Australia, Pavel struck up a friendship with rising wicketkeeper-batsman Josh Philippe. Before the Australian Big Bash League final, Pavel sent Philippe a video message of support via social media. The youngster responded with a player-of-the-match performance, plundering 52 off only 29 balls to send the title to the Sixers for the first time in eight years.  Florin even revealed that as president of Cluj Cricket Club, he believed Phillippe had done enough to be a part of Pavel’s team, but only as twelfth-man!  One of our viewers suggested beach cricket should be an Olympic sport. Well if beach volleyball is in there, why not?

3. Favourite bowling delivery remains ‘The Grenade’.

I was impressed with the improvement in Florin’s bowling when he toured Australia.  He had learned to vary his pace and had worked on his accuracy. He even introduced me to left-field tactics like varying the length and speed of his run-up!  But when asked what his most dangerous delivery was, the answer was unsurprisingly ‘The Grenade’, a loopy ball which is designed to cause confusion and panic in the batsman. I’ve seen it up close and I can say it’s astoundingly effective!

4. Pavel spent a day in ‘Army Jail’.

When training for the armed forces, Florin took a photograph which was against the rules.  His superior officer ripped it up and his punishment was to spend a day in ‘Army Jail’.  He explained that he was not actually locked up, however, “The people work you, work you, work you.”  Sounds a lot like losing the toss and being forced to field all day in 40-degree heat back in my native Australia.

5. Pavel is still single, by choice!

When a female participant in the interactive chat enquired about his current relationship status, Florin disclosed that he was still single. He explained that his work in security and his cricket career have made it difficult to devote the necessary time and attention to a partner.  One viewer suggested he would be, “Fighting off the ladies with a cricket bat,” and it’s hard to argue with that. Speaking of cricket, Florin expressed his desire to grow the women’s game in Romania, and revealed that there are some female players taking part in the Romanian domestic competition. Wouldn’t it be great to one day have a women’s European Cricket League to stand alongside the men’s!

6. What is that on my face?

I am always happy to receive viewer questions, but when they come from your own mother then it’s only natural to be a little concerned! Apparently, Mum has been watching the show and asked me what’s going on with the hair growth under my bottom lip. I explained that it is my “Corona Patch” and have been growing it since isolation began. I know it’s not the best look, but everybody’s got their quirks, right?

Tune into the European Cricket Studio LIVE four times a week on @europeancricket Instagram, Monday to Thursday at 17h00 Central European Time.