Shah, a fluent top-order batsman, has enjoyed a successful county career but, despite showing glimpses of his talent during his six Tests, 71 one-day internationals and 17 Twenty20s for England, never really fulfilled his potential at international level.
Precociously talented as a youngster and the captain of England Under-19s' World Cup-winning side in 1998, Shah hit 62 against Pakistan at Lord's during 2001 in his second ODI.
Plucked from the England A tour of the West Indies in early 2006 and added to the Test squad in India following injuries to Michael Vaughan and Marcus Trescothick, Shah made 88 - despite cramp - and 38 on debut in Mumbai to help secure an historic win and draw the series.
Although he managed just 11 runs in three ODIs in India, Shah excelled in domestic cricket once more that summer, and was named in England’s provisional 30-man squad - if not the final 15 - for the 2007 World Cup.
He started the 2007 season with 193 and 72 not out for Middlesex against Somerset and won a recall to the Test squad for the first Test against West Indies at Lord's in May, but made just 10.
He fared better in the NatWest Series versus India, scoring his maiden international hundred and taking his first international wicket in a thrilling match at the Oval.
He topped the Middlesex averages that summer with 870 County Championship runs at 72.50, and was consigned to the fringes of the England Test side during the tour of Sri Lanka.
Shah helped Middlesex win the Twenty20 Cup in 2008 with a 35-ball 75 that set up victory over Kent in the final at the Rose Bowl, and was part of the England one-day squad that thrashed South Africa 4-0 in the NatWest Series.
He represented England in the Stanford Super Series, including in the warm-up match against Middlesex, and shone in the subsequent one-day series in India before the Mumbai terror attacks curtailed that leg of the tour.
Shah played three out of four Tests on England’s tour of West Indies in early 2009 before hitting a superb 75 from 65 balls in an ODI against the same opponents at Edgbaston in May.
A fair 2009 season that saw him feature in the 6-1 NatWest Series defeat by Australia was followed by participation in the Champions Trophy in South Africa.
Despite hitting a brutal 98 off 89 balls against the hosts, he was overlooked for England one-day duty following their exit in the semi-final.
Released by Middlesex at the end of the 2010 season - his 16th with the club - he joined Essex on a two-year deal. Shah, besides exhibiting his talent in several overseas Twenty20 tournaments, became a consistent run-scorer for Essex.