Former Hong Kong captain Tabarak Dar has been appointed as a stop-gap coach for the national team and will be in charge when they defend their title at the ACC Trophy Elite Cup in Kuwait from March 31 to April 9. With the hunt for a coach to replace Aftab Habib taking longer than expected, the Hong Kong Cricket Association (HKCA) has decided Dar, who is already an employee, will fill the position temporarily. He will take over from Afzaal Haider, who was also appointed on a temporary basis and was in charge of the senior squad at the ACC Twenty20 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - Hong Kong finished a disappointing 10th - and also the Hong Kong Under-19s at the ICC World Cup in New Zealand - Hong Kong finishing 14th out of 16 teams. 'Dar's appointment is just an interim measure,' HKCA chairman Dinesh Tandon said. 'We had around 45 applications from all over the world for the job of Hong Kong national coach and right now this has been narrowed down to three people. But as we needed someone immediately, we decided to go with Dar for now.' The shortlist of three comprised candidates from overseas, Tandon said. It was earlier revealed that among the applicants were three former test stars - West Indian fast bowler Colin Croft, Pakistan wicketkeeper batsman Rashid Latif and South African batsman Peter Kirsten. 'Whoever the new coach will be, his task will not only be to guide the national team, but to also look at the broader perspective of helping out with the development of the game in Hong Kong,' Tandon said. A 16-strong squad has already been picked for the 10-team tournament in Kuwait. Hong Kong defeated the UAE two years ago in Malaysia to win the tournament for the first time. That saw them qualify for this year's Asia Cup - against India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - but the ACC has ruled that associate members will not be included.