With incumbent Corrie van Zyl all set to step down after the 2011 World Cup, Cricket South Africa on Thursday said it has started searching "far and wide" and was also open to the idea of a foreign coach for the Proteas.
CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said they are looking for an able candidate to replace interim coach Van Zyl who will return to his permanent post as head of CSA's High Performance Centre.
"CSA is casting its net far and wide to find the right person to replace caretaker Proteas' coach Corrie van Zyl and take the team to even higher levels of performance," Majola said.
"We thank and applaud Corrie for stepping into the breach at such short notice after the resignation of Mickey Arthur as national coach last season," he added.
During 49-year-old Van Zyl's association with the national team, South Africa defeated the West Indies and drew the away Test series against India and Pakistan earlier this year.
Under Van Zyl's guidance, the Proteas have already taken a 1-0 lead in the ongoing home series against India, which has been billed as the fight for Test supremacy.
CSA also said that new coach will be appointed for a two-year term during which South Africa will feature in the 2012 ICC World Twenty20 to be held in Sri Lanka, the inaugural World Test Championship as well as home and away series against Australia and a full tour to England.
It also added that applications from interested candidates will close on January 7.
"The search for candidates for this vital job is worldwide and the criteria set for the successful applicant is of the highest world standards," Majola said.
"CSA believes that the Proteas have the right balance and skills to be the best in the world and now we are looking for the right coach to take them to that level and keep them there," he added.
CSA has also appointed a five-member panel, headed by Majola himself, to select the new coach.
Apart from Majola, the panel will also have Van Zyl (High Performance manager), Andrew Hudson (selection convener), Andrew O'Connor (chairman of CSA Cricket Committee)and Boeta Dippenaar (SA Cricketers' Association representative).