Allan Donald, Warwickshire bowling legend and the first South African to take 300 wickets in Test cricket, is expected to accept a post as bowling coach at Edgbaston today after declining the chance to broaden his role with England as permanent bowling supremo.
Donald, who worked with England under coach Peter Moores in the last English season, is understood to have verbally agreed a deal with Colin Povey, the chief executive of Warwickshire, to be bowling coach at a county coming to terms with being relegated in the championship and one-day leagues.
The actual job title and description of Donald's responsibilities will remain unclear until the official announcement, which is expected to be today.
Povey says that Donald, if he formally agrees a contract, would be with the first team for much of his time without being certain to be first-team bowling coach. It is expected that, as well as overseeing all things pace at Edgbaston, he would play a key role in the recruitment and career strategy of strike bowlers.
The decision by Donald, 40, to place the county where he made his name in English cricket before the higher profile, more lucrative, post with England is partly because of his fondness for the county and his good relationship with Ashley Giles, the county's new director of cricket after Mark Greatbatch's departure with a year of his three year contract to run and a playing colleague with Donald in a successful era for the county.
Another factor in the decision is that Donald wants to reduce the amount of international travelling because of his having a young family. His decision to be unavailable to accompany England this winter - a role to be undertaken by Ottis Gibson, Durham's 38-year-old West Indian - is the result of his having had a previous contract to be a television commentator-analyst in South Africa this English winter.
Povey believes that Donald would view a position with Warwickshire as being a step forward from being purely a bowling coach.
Such a move, however, places the future of Steve Perryman, a long-time bowling coach at Edgbaston, up in the air as Donald's presence would mean his not being involved with the first team.
Povey has yet to have discussions with Perryman on the latter's future but it is thought that a role with the age group teams will be made available if he wants to remain with the county. There is a strong possibility, however, that Perryman may want to end his employment with the county.
Meanwhile, Warwickshire have been presented with the prospect of Saqlain Mushtaq, the now English-qualified former Pakistan international off-spin bowler, wanting to join the county. Saqlain, released by Sussex, the county champions, is understood to be keen to live in the Midlands but, at the age of 31 by next season, is unlikely to be regarded at Edgbaston as being part of the county's future.