Born and raised in Nottingham, the multi-talented Shafayat was earmarked for big things from the moment he began breaking batting records at Colts level and was selected for England Under-17s at the age of 14.
One of the first players to join Chris Tolley's Academy, he made his Championship debut six days before his 17th birthday in 2001 - Notts' youngest ever debutant in the competition. He showed no nerves and stroked a confident 72 against Middlesex, and followed that up with 104 against Worcestershire in 2002, making him the youngest player to record a century for Nottinghamshire.
He succeeded Paul McMahon as captain of England Under-19s, scoring four hundreds in 10 Tests, but was never really able to cement a regular place in the Nottinghamahire First XI, despite selection for England A in the winter of 2003-04.
At the end of the 2004 season he opted to make the move to Northamptonshire with the promise of more regular first team cricket. It paid off in 2005, as he played every first-class match and reached 1,000 runs for the first time, but with a young family of his own, he chose to return to Nottingham for 2007, signing a three-year contract.
An engaging personality who always has a smile on his face, Shafayat's wristy strokeplay seems perfectly suited for the number four spot, which Mick Newell has suggested will prove to be his ideal position long term. Shafayat can also turn his arm over with some medium pacers if required and is an accomplished wicketkeeper.
He shot to prominence in the 2009 Ashes series when Australian captain Ricky Ponting was caught on camera suggesting that his trips to the middle as England’s twelfth man were perhaps a little too frequent as Jimmy Anderson and Monty Panesar held out for an unlikely draw at Cardiff.
He was subsequently awarded substantial damages by Nationwide News after publication of an article which featured offensive comments about his appearance. Shafayat accepted an apology and donated the fee to the Cricket Foundation's Chance To Shine initiative.