Richard Pybus yesterday spent a day of meetings with the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the national players, making it all but certain that the Englishman will become the next Tigers' head coach.
The confirmation wasn't made official by the cricket board though president AHM Mustafa Kamal said that no other candidates are due to be interviewed, and that Pybus's appointment is likely to be formally confirmed within a week.
After arriving on Thursday night, Pybus spent time with the BCB chief at his residence while on Friday, he visited the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur to check out the facilities and meet some of the directors. In the evening, he met some of the senior Bangladesh players in Dhaka before he heads back to Cape Town this afternoon.
Though billed as a first of three interviews, none of the parties, Pybus or Kamal, were calling it one but there was an air of optimism.
"This is nothing official nor is it an interview," said Pybus while speaking to the reporters. "This is a fact-finding mission on my behalf and I am here to meet the president and the support staff. I want to make an informed decision and find out whether I can make a valid contribution."
When pressed for an answer about this being an interview, he repeated, "Not really, it is about meeting people and finding a common ground. I have a family back in South Africa and I will go back and tell them whether it is feasible."
The BCB president had high praise for Pybus, the former Pakistan coach, and urged him to speak to his family about the "big-heartedness" of Bangladeshis. The amicable exchange was indicative of the board's decision though the coach would be consulting his family before taking the plunge. The living situation is the only hitch in an otherwise done deal as the BCB chief confirmed that there won't be any more interviews or meetings with the other candidates.
"There won't be any more interviews, nobody else is coming. We want one person and I'm sure we will succeed. We have spoken to him [Pybus] and we are quite interested to get him. We can get a concrete decision from him in six to seven days," said Kamal later at his board office.
Pybus has seen Bangladesh up close a few times as Pakistan's coach, most famously when the Tigers shocked the cricketing world by beating the 1999 World Cup finalists during a group game in Northampton. Before heading to Bangladesh, he spoke to Cally, the wife of former South Africa all-rounder and former Bangladesh coach the late Eddie Barlow.
"Eddie Barlow was a friend of mine in South Africa and before he passed away, he spoke very highly about Bangladesh cricket. I spoke to his wife Cally last week and she only had good things to say about the people in Bangladesh," he said.
It will be a return to international cricket for the 47-year-old Pybus who was last at this level in 2003. Seeing Bangladesh perform off late and having visited the Mirpur stadium, he was impressed and said that he has a passion for the top job.
"There is a lot of raw talent, and they have started to play some good cricket, build on the work done by Stuart [Law] and the support staff on the progress of the boys. It is a wonderful, world-class stadium. It is nice to be here and nice to be in a country where passion is incredible.
"There's never a shortage of hunger there. There's always a challenge but it is about making a valid contribution. Those are the important things," he said.