Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming has reportedly applied for the Proteas head coach job.

Former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming could be the “big name” Cricket South Africa waited for when they decided to extend the deadline last month in their search for the successor to Corrie van Zyl.

Van Zyl is set to return to his post at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria after the World Cup.

CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said that CSA “weren’t completely satisfied with the number of applications” and that “another big name has in addition asked that his late application be considered, as he wasn’t aware of the initial deadline.”

A well-placed source said: “Fleming is held in high regard by Cricket South Africa. He submitted a late application.”

Applications for the post officially close on February 18, a day before the World Cup starts next Friday.

Fleming, a veteran of 111 Tests and 280 one-day internationals for the Black Caps, would be a surprise choice as coach of the Proteas, especially after he recently distanced himself from speculation surrounding him succeeding Gary Kirsten as India coach.

He reportedly wanted to spend more time with his young family, like Kirsten, who was initially the front-runner to be the next South Africa coach.

Cricket South Africa would welcome Fleming if they are not able to secure the services of Kirsten, whose India contract terminates at the end of the World Cup, as he is of similar character to the former Proteas opener.

The Kiwi was one of the most innovative captains on the international circuit and has one of the most shrewd cricket minds in the business. Fleming is also known to be a good “man-manager”, having formed a good rapport with India and Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, just like Kirsten has during his time with the World’s No 1 Test team.

Other leading candidates to succeed Van Zyl are former England coach Duncan Fletcher, Proteas assistant coach Vincent Barnes and Cape Cobras and former Pakistan coach Richard Pybus.

A panel consisting of Majola, Van Zyl and national selection chief, Andrew Hudson, will conduct the interviews.