Thursday 21 December 2006 

Shafayat Returns To Nottinghamshire

Bilal Shafayat has returned to Trent Bridge, rejoining Nottinghamshire, the county which he left in 2004.

Northamptonshire have released the former England under-19 captain and he has signed a three year deal with Nottinghamshire, citing a desire to be nearer to his family as a reason for rejoining them:

"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 Northamptonshire for agreeing to my release and am glad to have been able to return to Trent Bridge and the county where I grew up.

``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 (director of cricket) Mick Newell, (batting and fielding coach) Paul Johnson and the rest of the players.''

Newell 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.''