Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has decided to appoint specialist coaches for batting, bowling and fielding for the national team and has already placed an advertisement on its website, inviting candidates to apply for the positions.

Last date to apply for different posts is November 18. The board is yet to appoint the head coach of the Pakistan team although it had advertised for that position in September and a special committee of PCB also shortlisted five candidates, including three foreigners -- Dean Jones, Dermot Reeve and Mickey Arthur.

The new PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf had spoken about the need to have specialist coaches to bring about improvements in all three departments of the game. This is the first time the Board has officially announced its intentions of having specialist coaches on the support staff.

Intikhab Alam, who heads the committee that shortlisted the candidates for the head coach's position, said the decision to hire specialist coaches had been taken on directives of the PCB Chairman who also consulted some former players in this regard.

"It is a good idea because now-a-days so much cricket is being played, plus there is so much travelling involved that the head coach requires the support of additional staff in specialist roles," Intikhab, who has worked as manager and coach with the national team, said.

Intikhab insisted that the selection of the new head coach should be done before the "home" series against England in January, which will be played in the UAE.

"For the time being we have Mohsin Khan as an interim coach and he is doing a good job but I think the new Chairman will take a decision on the permanent head coach soon."

He also said that the committee has given the board a choice of foreign and local coaches to select from.

"The board has already been in touch with the foreign coaches and they are definitely interested in the job," said Intikhab.

Meanwhile, sources said Mickey Arthur, who was the coach of South Africa from 2005 to 2010, seems to be the front runner but chances of Aaqib Javed and Sabih Azhar also could not be ruled out.

"Sabih recently won the SAARC under-25 T20 title for Pakistan in Maldives and has done well as coach at the domestic level, while Aaqib has lots of experience having worked with the national team as assistant coach and bowling coach," the source revealed.

(Agencies)