27 April 2011

Will Shafayat make it back?

I was amazed when I got The Spin yesterday and read about Bilal Shafayat, aged 26 and apparently on the County Cricket scrapheap, or the 1st XI scrapheap anyway. A teenage prodigy, I assumed that the very least Shafayat would make of his cricketing career was to be a regular County pro. I realised he was struggling to make the impression his talent suggested he should (I've now seen he has a first-class average of 30), but it didn't occur to me he might find it difficult to find a County.

Interesting then that he's trying to make it back into the County game via Sussex 2s, with some decent initial success. Owain Jones, a Steyning product who now plays his cricket at Horsham played in that match and he couldn't have been more complimentary about Shafayat's input. Such is Shafayat's experience and knowledge "he seemed more like 40 than 26" apparently. Only time will tell if Shafayat will make it back, but even if he doesn't it sounds like some of the Sussex 2's squad will benefit from his experience and be more likely to make it themselves as a result.

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