Bob Woolmer, the former England batsman, was yesterday appointed South Africa coach, a contract which runs until the next World Cup in March 1996. Warwickshire, whom Woolmer coached to an unprecedented three titles this year, have been keen to keep their man and before yesterday's announcement a compromise was agreed between Dennis Amiss, the chief executive officer of Warwickshire, and Ali Bacher, the managing director of the United Cricket Board of South Africa. Woolmer will retain ties with the county until next May to help with their transition period. Woolmer has also been working for Boland, the South African provincial side, but this will cease immediately as his responsibilities with South Africa commence next month when he will take the team to Pakistan. The UCBSA executive committee were unanimous in their selection of Woolmer; those also under consideration were Duncan Fletcher of Zimbabwe and the former South Africa all-rounder Eddie Barlow. Mike Procter, the previous incumbent who led South Africa on the recent tour of England, was in hospital with a heart ailment when he was informed that his contract had not been renewed and he reacted bitterly, criticising the selectors and captain Kepler Wessels. Ali Bacher said: 'It was felt that Woolmer's coaching expertise, his international experience and his success with teams and players would bring an extra dimension to the management of the national team.'