General News | 21st December 2006
Shafayat returns to Notts
The 22-year-old batsman left Nottinghamshire in 2004 to join Northamptonshire but after being released from his contract at Wantage Road for family reasons, is now back playing for the county where he was born and raised.
He said: “During the season I tried to focus on my cricket, but once that had finished and I had time to sit and reflect, I came to the conclusion that I wanted to be closer to my family in Nottingham.
“I am grateful to Northants for agreeing to my release and am glad to have been able to return to Trent Bridge and the county where I grew up.”
Shafayat pinpointed his relationship with Notts supporters and Director of Cricket Mick Newell as an important factor and added: “Fans and members have always been supportive and made me feel at home.
“Now that I’ve signed, I can’t wait to start working again with Mick, Paul Johnson and the rest of the players. I’m really excited about playing at my home ground next season and continuing to improve as a cricketer.”
Newell was delighted to see the youngster back in Notts colours and said: “I’m very pleased that Bilal wants to return and we are glad to welcome him back to Trent Bridge.
“He’s a Nottingham lad and is close to his family, who are still living here. That has been an important factor in his return.
“Under different circumstances, I don’t think he would have left in the first place, but he has definitely had more opportunities to play first-class cricket than we would have been able to offer him, and I’m sure that will have helped him advance his game.
“His talent has always been clear and I see him becoming a top quality number four in the end, but he does also offer the option of wicketkeeping in one-day matches if Chris Read is not available.”
Shafayat, who was selected for an England A tour of India in 2003-04, has scored 3,277 first-class runs at an average of 31.81 from 61 matches, including six hundreds, with a high score of 161.