Cricket South Africa chief executive Gerald Majola has dismissed speculation that India coach Gary Kirsten will join the Proteas when his contract ends after the World Cup.
"It's just rumours that Gary had already applied for the position (of South African coach) or that we have already entered into discussion with him," Majola told the Afrikaans daily Beeld on Friday.
Kirsten, who has led India to the top position in world rankings, is being touted as the front-runner for the local position after current coach Corrie van Zyl returns to his position as head of the High Performance Centre in Pretoria after the World Cup.
CSA advertised the position on Thursday. A panel comprising Majola, Van Zyl, convener of selectors Andrew Hudson and players' representative Boeta Dippenaar will begin interviewing applicants early in January.
Majola said the new coach would be offered a two-year contract.
"It will be a busy time for the Proteas with among others the 2012 Twenty20 World Championships in Sri Lanka, the first World Test Championships, home and away series against Australia and a tour to England," Majola said.
"We will be casting our net very wide to find the right person and take the team to the next level. The search for the new coach is a worldwide one and the requirements that he will have to meet are the highest that there are," he added.