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Woolmer in running for England coach

The ECB has already said that Fletcher's contract, which expires with next year's World Cup will be reconsidered after the tournament.

india Updated: Dec 29, 2006 20:18 IST

Pakistan coach Bob Woolmer is a strong contender to take over from Duncan Fletcher as England coach after the World Cup.

Woolmer could replace Fletcher who has slowly lost his reputation and influence with the England team, sources said.

The ECB has already said that Fletcher's contract, which expires with next year's World Cup will be reconsidered after the tournament.

Woolmer also has a contract with the Pakistan Cricket Board until the World Cup and the new Chairman Naseem Ashraf has given indications that Pakistan will look for a new coach after the tournament in the West Indies.

Woolmer's tenure with the Pakistan team since June, 2004 has been a mixed one and he has from time to time faced a lot of criticism from different quarters who believe he is an overrated coach.

"The only way Woolmer can be offered a new contract by the PCB is if the Pakistan team does exceptionally well to win in South Africa and the World Cup," a PCB source said.

Woolmer's strained relations with the CEO of the Pakistan board Saleem Altaf are also well documented.

It is no secret that Altaf is unhappy over the tax free salary offered to Woolmer and the vacations he takes frequently. At present he is in South Africa for Christmas even as Pakistan prepare for a tough tour of South Africa.

One source said the ECB had listed Woolmer among its leading candidates to replace Fletcher when the time came and there was little doubt if Woolmer, a former England player who has now settled in South Africa, got a chance to coach England he would take the offer.