Seven foreign candidates are being interviewed by the Hong Kong Cricket Association as the search for a national coach to replace Robin Singh moves up a gear this week. 'We will be talking to them through conference calls before making a shortlist of three people who will be asked to come to Hong Kong some time in the next fortnight or so for a final interview,' said HKCA chairman Clive Howard. It is understood that no big names - ex-internationals like Singh (pictured) - had shown interest in the Hong Kong job, which has been vacant since early this year. But Howard said the response had come from all over the world and had been very encouraging. 'We have got people from everywhere applying - from Australia, England, and the sub-continent. Hopefully we will have someone in place by next month,' he said. Ex-Indian one-day star Singh stepped down as Hong Kong coach after almost five seasons in the job. Soon after the World Cup in the Caribbean earlier this year, Singh was appointed as India's fielding coach. He had to give up the Hong Kong position as he could not spend the required 120 days with the local squad. Singh was based in Chennai. Howard had stated earlier that the new coach would have to be based in Hong Kong and it is believed that his responsibilities would also include overall development of the game, including age groups and the women's squad. This position is also vacant with the recent resignation of Lal Jayasinghe, who quit after more than 10 year's service. The first important task for the new coach will be to prepare the senior squad for next April's Asia Cup in Karachi, where they will be up against the region's four test teams in the one-day international tournament. Hong Kong, who qualified along with fellow-associate member the United Arab Emirates, are drawn to meet India and Pakistan. It will be the second time that Hong Kong has competed - the other being the 2002 Asia Cup in Colombo.