Former Australian paceman Andy Bichel has emerged as a strong contender to take over as New Zealand's bowling coach after South African Allan Donald decided to pursue a job in his homeland under a new management.

Donald worked as the Black Caps' bowling coach for three months earlier this year and New Zealand administrators had hoped to sign him on a permanent basis but, despite a verbal agreement to stay with New Zealand Cricket (NZC), Donald decided to become South Africa's bowling coach.

A number of factors point to the possibility of Bichel's appointment although several obstacles need to be overcome, New Zealand Herald reported.

Before Donald's appointment, it is understood that the New Zealand coach, John Wright, wanted Bichel, but he turned the role down because of his commitments with Papua New Guinea as well as freelance work in the Indian Premier League (IPL) with Chennai Super Kings and Australian domestic side Queensland.

Flexibility

NZC would need to offer the 40-year-old plenty of flexibility to take the role.

He wants to continue living in Brisbane so that he doesn't have to relocate his young family — Bichel is married and has children aged 11 and eight — exactly as Donald's predecessor Shane Jurgensen did.

Bichel's most recent role was with the Stephen Fleming-coached Chennai Super Kings.

He was also the bowling coach of Kolkata Knight Riders in 2009 under NZC's new cricket director, John Buchanan.

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