LAHORE - Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) caught in a difficult situation when three more candidates came into the limelight and showed their desire to become the national team's batting coach, it has been learnt.

Pakistan former opener Shoaib Mohammad, middle-order batsman Basit Ali and former captain Inzamamul Haq are ready to become batting coach of national team. Shoaib and Basit got backing of a national political party, who is a coalition partner of government in Sindh and centre as well, and wants one of its candidates to be named as a batting coach despite lacking qualifications essential for appointment.

Talking to this scribe, PCB chief Zaka Ashraf said he was unaware of coaching committee member Zaheer Abbas resignation as the board has not received any resignation from him and he had come to know through media reports. “I am unaware of Zaheer Abbas resignation from the PCB batting coach committee and came to know it through media reports,” he said.

He said PCB would announce the new coach selection committee and also consider more candidates to select the better choice to remove the batting flaws of Pakistani batsmen.

A national political party is exerting pressure on the cricket board and its chief to select its backed candidates Shoaib Mohammad or Basit Ali, and if the board refused to do so then the party will approach to the patron-in-chief of the board Asif Ali Zardari to get their work done.

But it is pertinent to mention here that the PCB chief would survive the political pressure and appoint the coach on merit.

Earlier, the board was compelled to select pacer M Akram as a bowling coach on the advice of government's top brass and it felt that the same episode would be repeated in this case as well.

Inzamam has also shown interest for becoming the batting coach if PCB offers him the post. He said he would consider the offer and would be ready to help batsmen and try to improve their game.

"If the board makes me an offer then I will definitely give it a serious consideration because I would love to help our batsmen improve their game,” Inzamam said.

Before Inzi, former batting greats Zaheer Abbas and Salim Malik had also expressed their interest in the job. A reliable source said some foreigners with high coaching credentials had also applied for the position. "While Inzamam, Zaheer, Salim Malik, Shoaib Mohammad and Basit Ali are no doubt big names in Pakistan cricket but not eligible due to lack of qualification required for the post. None of them have done the level-III coaching course nor have experience of working with an elite player or team which is the requirement set by the PCB,” the source added.

He pointed out that they were also facing problems with Salim Malik's eligibility as it was still unclear whether the ICC would allow him to be given any official coaching position with the national team or otherwise. "It is still not clear whether Salim Malik’s ban was been set aside by any court of law,” the source said.

He, however, admitted that Zaheer was a prime candidate for the position despite his qualification problems as he had previously worked with the national team as manager and was well respected by the players and in the cricket community. But Shoaib Mohammad and Basit Ali entrance for the post has made Zaheer case a bit difficult. The competition will be among Zaheer, Shoaib and Basit and time will tell who will be the Pakistan team batting coach.

Inzamam said that the board had done the right thing by deciding to appoint a professional batting coach as it was the need of the times. "There is no doubt we need to bring in more consistency in our batting and need someone to groom our younger players and fine tune the seniors when required,” he said.

On the other hand, the PCB chief feels the appointment of a batting coach for the national team has become a challenging task given the interest shown by some of the country's stalwarts in the job.

"It will be a demanding process now to take a decision on who will be Pakistan's batting coach," he said. Ashraf's remarks came hours after Pakistan's former captain and most-capped player Inzamam also expressed his interest in the position. Zaka said he could do nothing with the selection as it was the duty of selection committee head Intikhab Alam and his team. "What the committee selects we will announce him as a batting coach."

The coaching committee is expected to meet soon to shortlist candidates and recommend their names to the board chairman and executive coordination committee for approval.