Fletcher in the fray to coach Proteas

The former England coach does not like the travel involved but is based in South Africa and could replace Mickey Arthur after his shock resignation

Duncan Fletcher has emerged as the leading candidate to replace Mickey Arthur who dramatically resigned from his post as head coach of South Africa yesterday just days before the team leave for a much-anticipated tour of India. Fletcher has been working with the Proteas in a consultancy role and although he has stated the demands of travelling would make him think twice about coaching a national team again, particularly at the age of 61, he would surely relish the chance to inherit an exciting South Africa team. The former England coach lives in Cape Town which would limit the amount of time he is away from home.

Kepler Wessels, Graham Ford, Richard Pybus and Gordon Parsons are likely to feature on the shortlist but a move for Gary Kirsten, the former Proteas opening batsman now in charge of India, is unlikely as the Cricket Board of South Africa will be unable to match hissalary. Corrie van Zyl, the former South Africa cricketer, will act as interim coach for two-Test and three one-day international tour of India while a successor is found. Arthur, who replaced Ray Jennings in May 2005, will explain the reasons for his sudden exit at a news conference today.

"The timing is very unfortunate with an exciting two-Test tour of India coming up but the international cricket calendar these days means that there is never a good time," Arthur said. "But all good things must come to an end and now is the time for someone else to take over. I am very proud of what the Proteas have achieved while I was coach, especially being ranked No 1 in both forms of the game in the last 12 months."

* With agencies