The England and Wales Cricket Board will interview for a new head coach in early April, after an official job specification was released for the role.
While the likely candidates to replace Andy Flower have been busy ruling themselves in or out of the race for several weeks, the formal recruitment process has now started. A detailed advert has been placed for the post, which will no longer carry the "team director" title held by Flower.
As expected the successful candidate will be in charge across all three formats of the game, ending the experiment of split coaches that led to Ashley Giles being recruited to lead the limited-overs sides while Flower concentrated on the Test squad.
Giles, who is in charge of England on their forthcoming one-day tour of West Indies as well as the forthcoming World Twenty20 in Bangladesh, remains the strong favourite for the top job and fits comfortably within the parameters set by the ECB. The wording does not require international experience as a player, though Giles' status as an Ashes-winning spinner will do him no harm at all.
The notice read: "Whilst international coaching and/or international playing experience is highly desirable, candidates who have coached at first-class level will also be considered for this position.
"Candidates must be able to point to a track record of success at first-class and/or international level achieved over an extended period of time."
The wording opens the door to applications from the likes of Nottinghamshire's Mick Newell. Domestic candidates such as Newell, Lancashire's Peter Moores and Giles, who won the 2012 County Championship while in charge of Warwickshire, would also fit the ECB bill for an individual who can "develop effective working relationships with all of the counties, drawing on the expertise and experience of coaches from around the country."
Meanwhile, South Africa were left to rue the loss of cheap wickets after battling to 214 for 5 on the opening day of the second Test against Australia in Port Elizabeth.
Bad light brought a premature end to the day with A B de Villiers on 51 and J P Duminy on two. De Villiers passed 7,000 Test runs and became the first player to score half-centuries in 12 Tests in a row.
It might well have been a better day for the hosts after they won the toss and elected to bat, but Dean Elgar (83) and debutant Quinton de Kock (seven) gave their wickets away with rash shots.
The pitch did not have the devil of the previous Test in Pretoria and rendered Mitchell Johnson less effective. The South Africans played him with relative comfort once the shine had been taken off the new ball.