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Waqar Younis has emerged as the favourite to take over the coaching role of the Pakistan side. A decision is expected to be announced soon, possibly within the week, but Cricinfo understands that the Pakistan board chairman is keen to have the former fast bowler take over from Intikhab Alam.

It is believed that Ijaz Butt and Waqar met in Dubai recently, after the second Twenty20 international between England and Pakistan, and that followed from a couple of meetings in Lahore the week before. A verbal offer has been made and, though Waqar is currently back in Sydney, where he resides, he is said to be essentially gearing up to return and take on the role, though only once all formalities have been resolved.

Waqar has had two coaching stints with Pakistan previously; the first was a successful one in 2006-07 though it ended on a bad note with the then administration. He was then appointed as a bowling and fielding coach for the recent tour of Australia, though the appointment was only for a single series.

Waqar had recently expressed an interest in taking on a broader role with the side. "If offered I would love to take on the role of coach," Waqar told Cricinfo recently. "Pakistan cricket remains my absolute passion and number one priority. I don't want to do it on an appointment or short-term basis though. I'd like to have time to work with the boys, to really be able to plan ahead."

The PCB has yet to even announce publicly the end of Intikhab's tenure, though it is widely acknowledged that they are looking for a new coach. The decision is likely to be taken once an inquiry committee, set up to look into the Australian tour whitewashes, releases its findings sometime this week.

Speculation over the last few days has focused mostly on foreign coaches even as Wasim Bari, the board's chief operating officer and head of the committee, insisted that "only the best coach will be appointed and it will not be dependent on nationality."

Greg Chappell already turned down an approach. Mickey Arthur, former the South Africa coach, was another name and though Cricinfo understands no contact has yet been made, Arthur would likely be keener on a temporary role, perhaps overlooking the side during their time in England this summer. Peter Moores and Dave Houghton were also named in at least one report but the likelihood of a foreign coach working in Pakistan still appears remote.

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