The ECB is believed to have short-listed Mickey Arthur, the South Africa coach, as one of the candidates for the top England role, according to reports in the British media.
Arthur is one of four contenders for the England coaching job, a list which includes current England coach Andy Flower, who was appointed on a temporary basis, Kent's Graham Ford, and former Indian mentor John Wright, the Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported. Former England spinner Ashley Giles was reportedly told by Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, that he did not possess adequate coaching experience.
However, Arthur told Cricinfo that he hasn't been approached or interviewed by the ECB in this regard and would like to honour his commitment with South Africa till the 2011 World Cup. "I haven't had any contact with the ECB on this issue," Arthur said. "It's a great opportunity but I still have time left with South Africa and would like to honour that commitment to my country."
Arthur, who guided South Africa to their first Test series win in Australia recently, had his contract extended last October by Cricket South Africa until the end of the tour of New Zealand in April, 2012. He had thanked the South African board for the "great honour" and for "buying into the plan leading up to the World Cup".
England have been without a full-time coach since Peter Moores was sacked in January after the fall-out with Kevin Pietersen, who was the captain at the time. Pietersen was replaced by Andrew Strauss for the West Indies tour.
Simon Cummins, who is leading the recruitment process for the ECB's head-hunting firm, gave no indication as to when a final decision would be made on the England coaching position. "We're down to the interview stage," Cummins told Cricinfo. "We will take as long as necessary to find the ideal person for the job. Some of the time issues will be determined by (the applicants') current commitments, and their geographical whereabouts."