Pybus to confirm Bangladesh coaching role
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is all set to appoint Richard Pybus as the national head coach after a day of meetings and "fact-finding". None of the other candidates who were shortlisted - Mick Newell and Mark Greatbatch - are due to be interviewed, and Pybus' appointment is likely to be confirmed within a week.
"There won't be any more interviews, nobody else is coming. We want one person and I'm sure we will succeed," BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal said. "We have spoken to him [Pybus] and we are quite interested to get him. We can get a concrete decision from him in six to seven days."
After arriving late on Thursday night, Pybus spent time with Kamal at his residence. On Friday, he visited the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur to check out the facilities and meet some of the directors. In the evening, he met with some of the senior Bangladesh players in Dhaka. He is due to head back to Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
"This is nothing official nor is it an interview," Pybus told reporters. "This is a fact-finding mission on my behalf and I am here to meet the president and the support staff. I want to make an informed decision and find out whether I can make a valid contribution.
"It is about meeting people and finding a common ground. I have a family back in South Africa and I will go back and tell them whether it is feasible."
The living situation is the only hitch in an otherwise done deal as the BCB chief confirmed that there won't be any more interviews or meetings with the other candidates.
Pybus has seen Bangladesh up close a few times as Pakistan's coach, most famously when Bangladesh upset Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup in a group game in Northampton. Before heading to Bangladesh, he spoke the wife of the late South Africa allrounder Eddie Barlow, who was Bangladesh's coach after that World Cup.
"Eddie Barlow was a friend of mine in South Africa and before he passed away, he spoke very highly about Bangladesh cricket," Pybus said. "I spoke to his wife Cally last week and she only had good things to say about the people in Bangladesh."
Pybus will be coaching an international side for the first time since 2003. He was impressed with Bangladesh's performance of late and said that he has a passion for the top job.
"There is a lot of raw talent, and they have started to play some good cricket, build on the work done by Stuart [Law] and the support staff on the progress of the boys. It (Shere Bangla Stadium) is a wonderful, world-class stadium. It is nice to be here and nice to be in a country where the passion is incredible.
"There's never a shortage of hunger there. There's always a challenge but it is about making a valid contribution. Those are the important things," he said.
Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran
Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka