The Pakistan Cricket Board has shortlisted former South African coach, Mickey Arthur, for the post of head coach of the national team.
An official source in the board confirmed that Arthur was one of the five candidates finalised by the special committee, which was formed by the board to recommend former coach Waqar Younis' replacement.
The committee, headed by ex-Pakistan captain, Intikhab Alam, shortlisted Australia's Dean Jones, former England allrounder Dermot Reeves, Arthur and two Pakistanis -- Aaqib Javed and Sabih Azhar -- for the job.
"The committee had submitted the list to the former chairman of the board, Ijaz Butt and he had told Intikhab and
Rameez Raja who is on the committee to first negotiate with Arthur and if he declined than the others in order of preference," the source said.
Arthur, a well-known name in international cricket, coached the South Africans from 2005 to 2010 before stepping down due to differences with Cricket South Africa.
Arthur, who is now coaching a South African provincial side, had in 2009 also withdrawn from the race for coaching the England team that eventually went to Andy Flower.
"There is a consensus among the committee members that includes former captain Zaheer Abbas, that Arthur has the best profile for the Pakistan team job," the source said.
Since Butt has has been replaced by Zaka Ashraf who is yet to take charge, the source said negotiations with Arthur and others had slowed down. "Basically it is now a waiting game as the committee members now want to know what is the line of thinking the new
chairman has about who should be head coach of the PakistanÂ team. The new chairman might prefer to have a local coach in case of which Aaqib and Sabih stand good chances of winning the race," the source said.
Aaqib, a former pacer, has been assistant and bowling coach with the national team on many tours, while Sabih was this week appointed manager cum coach of the Pakistan under-25 team that will play in the SAARC championship in Maldives from October 31.
The source said Jones was also a strong contender but hurt his chances by giving an interview to an Australian newspaper in which he confirmed he was in line for the job.
During the interview, Jones also spoke on the sensitive issue of convincing Shahid Afridi to take back his retirement decision.