Hugh Morris, managing director of England cricket, wants the next national cricket coach to be selected this month. Morris refused to reveal who was on the shortlist of next week's interviewees but hinted that Andy Flower, who is currently the stand-in coach after the sacking of Peter Moores in January, remained the favourite to be appointed before the home series against West Indies.
"We would like to make an appointment ahead of the West Indies series that starts at Lords on 6 May," Morris told BBC Radio Five Live. "Andy has absolutely got the credentials but we are very pleased with the candidates who have applied for the job.
"We feel we have got a strong shortlist that we are going to be interviewing shortly after we get back with a view to making sure we appoint the best person to take England forward. We are not going to go into naming names."
Recently the Telegraph and the Daily Mail reported that Mickey Arthur was also one of four contenders for the England coaching job, along with Flower, who was appointed on a temporary basis, Kent's Graham Ford, and former Indian mentor John Wright. Arthur subsequenlty told Cricinfo that he had not been approached or interviewed by the ECB in this regard. Former England spinner Ashley Giles was reportedly told by Morris that he did not possess adequate coaching experience.
Morris was looking for a speedy appointment. "I am sure we will get the right man for it [the job]. I think the critical thing is we get the right man to do the job," he said. "It is the pivotal role in English cricket. That person has got to work hand in glove with the captain."
England have been without a full-time coach since Moores was sacked after the fall-out with Kevin Pietersen, who was the captain at the time.