Karachi: Julian Fountain, front-runner for Pakistan's fielding coach position, is likely to join the team ahead of its departure for the forthcoming Test and ODI series against England in the United Arab Emirates.
Sources in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that negotiations with the Australian fielding coach Fountain are in final stages and he is expected to visit Lahore soon to sign his contract with the board.
"Financial issues were the main hurdle between Fountain and the board as he had demanded a monthly pay of between USD 10,000 to 15,000 but now that matter has been sorted out. He will come to Lahore soon to finalise things," the source told PTI.
The PCB is hunting for a new coaching staff for the national team after Waqar Younis resigned on personal and health grounds last September, leaving the board to appoint chief selector, Mohsin Khan, as interim coach of the team.
Mohsin has also been retained as the interim coach for the series against England.
But the source said while Dav Whatmore would only join the team after the England series, there are strong chances that Fountain will be on the coaching staff for the series in the UAE.
"Captain Misbah-ul-Haq and Mohsin have both supported the idea of having a specialist fielding coach with the team before the England series and Fountain is the obvious choice," the source said.
Fountain has worked before with the Pakistan team for short periods.
He said Fountain might visit Lahore during the national team's short conditional camp being held in the first week of January and accompany them to Dubai and Abu Dhabi for the series.
The board has confirmed that Whatmore will also soon be visiting Lahore to hold negotiations with them with reference to the job of head coach.
The source said that Whatmore had informed the board that he would only be available for his long-term assignments with the Pakistan team after completing his obligations with the Kolkata Knight Riders in the 2012 Indian Premier League season.
"This is one issue that the board is facing with Whatmore and second is that he is demanding around Rs. 2 million a month for his coaching assignment which the PCB feels is on the high side and want to negotiate with him on this," the source added.
The source also confirmed that it has been decided that the board would appoint a Pakistani as assistant coach to Whatmore as it wants someone to learn and progress for the future.
The assistant coach position is likely to go to either Sabih Azhar or Aaqib Javed.