Born in Cape Town only six months apart, Kirsten and Andy Flower have been the two most successful coaches in world cricket over the last five years. Another distinguished former player, Kirsten took India and South Africa to No.1 in Tests, either side of England's reign, as well winning the 2011 World Cup with India - a moment that set off a starburst of celebration in the host country. His more holistic approach, focused on players taking responsibility for their own careers and encompassing outdoor team-building expeditions and mental preparation, would provide something of a contrast to the more scientific Flower. The workload, however, may not appeal, as he gave up the South Africa job last year in order to spend more time with his young family and an exit from his Delhi Daredevils IPL contract would have to be negotiated.
Recognised as an astute tactician during his time as New Zealand captain, Fleming's coaching experience is limited to the IPL, although he has impressed with Chennai Super Kings, the tournament's most successful franchise who he has twice led to the title. Made a player mentor from his first days with CSK, he has built strong relationships, particularly with MS Dhoni, the captain. A sharp strategist, he also has a sphinx-like reputation, preferring to keep his media interactions to a minimum - a trait which ultimately served to alienate Flower in the England role. Familiar with the English game, having spent time with Middlesex, Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire, where he won the Championship in 2005, he was described by former team-mate Graeme Swann as a born leader.
A former England captain, veteran of 68 Tests, redoubtable firefighter and nuggety inspiration, Collingwood has recently cut his coaching teeth with Scotland, steering their successful qualification campaign for the 2015 World Cup. A straight-talking leader of men, Collingwood is still currently a player, having captained Durham to a remarkable Championship victory last year. He is under contract for another season but may be tempted to swap grass-stained whites for a pristine England tracksuit, should the ECB wish to overlook the candidacy of Collingwood's former team-mate Ashley Giles and start afresh - though perhaps a lesser role within the new set-up is more likely. Memories of his successful on-field collaborations with Kevin Pietersen could be influential.
Was talked of as a candidate for the England managing director's role - although he didn't apply - and has good relations with the ECB. Currently in charge of Middlesex, where Fraser has guided the county away from a difficult period in Division Two to being contenders in the top tier, he combines the experience of an international career with the nous of having spent several years in the media, as correspondent with the Independent and latterly as one of the many former pros on Sky Sports' roster. With more than 200 wickets in international cricket, Fraser would doubtless have a say in the bowling and may be tempted by the chance to guide Steven Finn's career more closely. Recently put himself forward to become an England selector in a part-time capacity.
Newell, Nottinghamshire's director of cricket, has already expressed an interest in the role. The longest-serving coach in county cricket, Newell is a veteran of the circuit and has twice led Notts to the Championship since taking charge in 2002, as well as picking up the YB40 trophy last year. Despite having no international experience, either as a player or coach, he was linked with the Bangladesh role in 2012. Newell, 48, was also part of the Lions coaching set-up in 2011, as well as assisting with the England Under-19s prior to that. "My style is management as much as coaching and that seems to be the way England have run things in recent years," he told the BBC.
@BumbleCricket keep your hands off Dizzy!!— Andrew Gale (@GaleyLad) January 31, 2014
Yorkshire's highly rated head coach has officially ruled himself out of the running. A contemporary of Darren Lehmann in Australia's world-bestriding team of a decade ago, "Dizzy" Gillespie inspires similar loyalty among his players. Brought in during a major Yorkshire reshuffle after the county's relegation in 2011, he won immediate plaudits for guiding them back to Division One at the first attempt, during an unbeaten season in Championship cricket. A talented young team then pushed Durham close for the title and Yorkshire would be desperate to retain his services, after Gillespie's No. 2, Paul Farbrace, recently left to coach Sri Lanka. The presence of Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Tim Bresnan in the England set-up would give Gillespie instant credit but Andrew Gale, Yorkshire's captain, has indicated the prevailing local view, tweeting "keep your hands off Dizzy!!".