New Delhi:Kolkata Knight Riders' hunt for a new coach is still on, and the latest to join in the speculation is former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram.
But latest reports say that Akram, one of the most gifted bowlers of all time, is not in line for the coach's job. Instead, he is likely to be roped in as a consultant. Akram's media commitments are said to be the reason for him not joining the team full-time.
According to media reports, Akram and John Wright, who has captained New Zealand and coached India, are the only top candidates left to be interviewed by the team's owner Shah Rukh Khan. The process, which includes a presentation by the hopefuls, may be completed by the end of this week. Akram will be meeting the KKR management to finalise his contract on August 30.
Earlier reports said that Wright (55) was the frontrunner to succeed Buchanan, who had been the franchise's head of cricket operations until his removal two months ago. However, two more names - Richard Pybus and Dermot Reeve - have cropped up.
Pybus and Reeve, the former English cricketers, were interviewed by Khan at his Bandra residence on Sunday and are tipped to secure the high-profile coaching assignment.
Pybus is said to have emerged as the favourite. The management was impressed with his presentation. He has been asked to stay on for a second round of meeting on August 30.
Wright too will present his case on the 30th of this month. But KKR is having second thoughts about him because he does not have any T20 coaching experience.
Meanwhile, Akram has confirmed that he was approached by the KKR management for coach's job. He said that he was called by Sourav Ganguly to help him in managing/coaching the Knight Riders.
Ganguly, however, said nothing had been finalised yet.
"Akram is part of the final few coaches who have been called on August 30. He along with (John) Wright and (Pravin) Amre have been called. I would also go to Mumbai that time," Ganguly said.
Former Indian batsman, Amre, incidentally was assistant coach of the Mumbai Indians for the second season of the IPL.
(With PTI inputs)