Australian coach Dav Whatmore has been issued a visit visa by the Pakistan embassy in Canberra, clearing the way for his scheduled visit to Lahore in January to finalise his contractual terms with the Pakistan Cricket Board.
A PCB source confirmed that the board through proper channels has managed to get a visa issued for Whatmore, who is presently in Canberra.
"He will be first going to India to wrap up his agreement with the Kolkata Knight Riders before coming to Lahore. It should be around January 14 or 15th," the source said.
The source also confirmed that Whatmore's visit to Lahore would be purely to finalise the terms of the agreement that he will sign with the PCB.
"In principle he is the sole candidate for the position of head coach of the national team and since he has resigned as KKR coach he could well be joining the Pakistan team for the Asia Cup tournament in March in Bangladesh," the source said.
For the time being the PCB has retained former Test player Mohsin Khan as the interim coach of the national team for the upcoming series against England in Dubai.
The source said that the PCB had obtained due clearance from the concerned quarters, including the interior ministry before inviting Whatmore.
"Until now all negotiations on behalf of the board with Whatmore were carried out by former Test captain Rameez Raja, who is assisting the committee formed by the board to scrutinise, identify, shortlist and recommend the names of potential coaches to the PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf," the source said.
The source informed that Rameez had held all negotiations with Whatmore and had recommended him finally to the board along with the committee.
Rameez had also played an instrumental role in the hiring of late Bob Woolmer as head coach in 2004 after the Pakistan team lost to India at home that led to the sacking of Javed Miandad as coach.
But some in the Pakistan cricket circles are still skeptical about the way the board is approaching the whole issue of appointing a new head coach to replace Waqar Younis, who resigned last September due to personal and health reasons.
Since then Mohsin has been the interim coach.
"The board should take all senior players into confidence and also wait for the England series to get over before taking any decision. What happens if Pakistan wins this series?," asked a former Test captain.
Mohsin himself has expressed his interest in continuing on permanent basis as head coach.