Former Warwickshire opening batsman Andy Moles is a surprise contender to coach Hong Kong at this summer's ICC Trophy in Toronto, Canada. The Hong Kong Cricket Association said Moles and Dipak Patel, the former New Zealand Test cricketer, were two of the hot favourites among other unnamed candidates to lead the SAR's bid for qualification to the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. Patel was strongly tipped to fill the position as it was thought that the HKCA was looking for a person who had one-day cricket experience on the international field. Off-spinner Patel, who coaches Central Districts in New Zealand, has played 75 one-day internationals including the 1992 World Cup when he was sensationally used as an opening bowler. But although Moles never played for England, he is apparently now in the running and could be in charge of Hong Kong for the 24-team associate members' mini-World Cup from June 28-July 18 in Toronto. 'Moles was recommended to us by Tim Munton, the ex-Warwickshire and England player who was passing through town recently. He is in the equation, but at the same time Patel is also not out of the equation,' said Mark Burns, HKCA operations manager. Moles, 40, retired from the English county scene in 1997 and is currently coach of South African province Free State. The Eagles finished the 2000-01 SuperSport Series at the bottom-end of the standings - sixth in the Super Eight competition. In his 11-season career in county cricket, Moles scored more than 15,000 runs at an average of 40.70. An occasional right-arm medium pacer, he also took 40 wickets at an average of 47.05. In first-class one-dayers, his record was 4,701 runs at 27.98 and 12 wickets at 69.50. 'We are hopeful that we can announce the successful candidate soon, as we want to have him in place by early June at the latest,' said Burns. The Hong Kong squad are currently under the tutelage of HKCA coaching co-ordinator Lal Jayasinghe, who was also assistant coach to Adam Hollioake at last November's ACC Trophy in Sharjah where the Stewart Brew captained side finished runners-up. Hollioake was unavailable to coach Hong Kong for the ICC Trophy due to commitments with Surrey. Moles recently missed out on the position of Yorkshire coach, being pipped by Australian Wayne Clark. Meanwhile, the HKCA said it would field a side against the visiting MCC and Melbourne Cricket Club on April 12 and 19 respectively at Kowloon Cricket Club. 'We will field an HKCA XI against both teams but only one will be regarded as a 'cap' game,' said Burns.