The former skipper Stephen Fleming and two Australians have ruled themselves out of the running for the vacant New Zealand cricket coach's job.
Seen as a strong contender for the job after Andy Moles resigned last week following a player backlash, Fleming feels he's too close to the current group of players - as well as being uproven as a coach.
The West Australian coach Tom Moody and long-time Victorian mentor Greg Shipperd also ruled themselves out yesterday, saying they'll continue with their state jobs.
New South Wales coach Matthew Mott is also understood to be unavailable after re-signing with the Blues, who he took to the Champions League Twenty20 title.
Former coach Steve Rixon, who coached the Black Caps from 1997 to 1999, has put his hand up for a second term and has re-emerged as a leading contender for the post, while former New Zealand opener John Wright, who coached India with great success, looms as the favourite for the job if he wants it.
Captain Daniel Vettori's set to hold the reins until next February as NZ Cricket take their time with the appointement, and Moody's backing the spinner to handle both roles without the extra responsibilities affecting his game.