George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo
Andrew McDonald is set to be named as the head coach of the Birmingham-based team in The Hundred, Birmingham Phoenix.
While earlier reports had suggested that Trevor Bayliss, the England coach, was frontrunner for the job, ESPNcricinfo understands that McDonald has been given the role after eight candidates were shortlisted for the position. Daniel Vettori, the former New Zealand allrounder, will be his assistant.
McDonald, a seam-bowling allrounder who was good enough to play four Tests for Australia, is only 38 but has quickly made a name for himself as a coach. As well as leading Victoria to two Sheffield Shield titles, he has coached them to victory in the one-day domestic title and Melbourne Renegades to their first BBL title in the 2018-19 season. He has also held coaching roles in the IPL (he has been bowling coach at Royal Challengers Bangalore) and in county cricket, where he led a revival of Leicestershire from a low base.
The appointment of Vettori as his deputy is, perhaps, more of a surprise. He has experienced relatively unsuccessful spells as a T20 coach at Middlesex, Royal Challengers Bangalore and Brisbane Heat, though Birmingham will hope his skills are more suited to the assistant role.
Bayliss was linked to the role after Paul Farbrace, his deputy at international level with Sri Lanka and England, was appointed as director of cricket at Warwickshire. It is understood that Worcestershire, the other club involved as part of the Birmingham-based team, were keen to ensure a proper process took place before any appointment was made, however, and at the end of that process, McDonald and Vettori will be appointed.