Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent
The PCB committee tasked with finding the new Pakistan head coach has shortlisted five names for the position out of a list of thirty-seven applicants. Twelve foreign and 25 local coaches had applied for the job.
The three-man committee appointed to select Waqar Younis' successor, comprising ex-Pakistan players Zaheer Abbas, Intikhab Alam and Naushad Ali, met for the second time in Karachi to sort the list of the candidates for the role. Earlier this month the board had advertised for the job of Pakistan coach, setting a deadline of 15 days for those wishing to apply.
"I can't disclose the names but the response was encouraging," Alam, the committee head, told the media after an extensive two hour meeting. "It was comprehensive meeting where we actually shortlisted five candidates out of the nine foreign and 25 local who sent their CV for the role."
The committee will now hand the list back to the PCB before calling the candidates for interviews. "I can't reveal the name of the shortlisted candidates as our actual task is to make a recommendation [about the head coach] to the PCB and its PCB's prerogative to take a final decision," Alam said.
The committee was appointed on August 29 following Younis' announcement that he would quit after the tour of Zimbabwe for personal and health reasons. There have been divided opinions on whether Pakistan should go with a local or foreign coach, with Abbas and Raja favouring the former while Alam said a foreign coach was something Pakistan should consider, though the most qualified person should get the job. "In my own opinion, if anyone in the country is highly qualified, then he should be given a chance. But without revealing more details on the candidates, I only can confirm that the list includes both foreign and local coaches and after getting the nod from the PCB we will go on to interview the coaches."
Alam also suggested Pakistan might have to appoint an interim coach for their 'home' series against Sri Lanka in the UAE (Pakistan are scheduled to leave for the UAE on October 15). "I know the time is bit short but it's up the PCB. Either they want to go with the interim coach for the Sri Lanka series as our only task is to make a recommendation about the new coach as PCB has the ultimate prerogative to name the coach."