Andrew Puttick was a rock at the top of the order for the Cape Cobras for many years. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

He was a rock for many seasons for the Cape Cobras and Western Province, and now Andrew Puttick intends to help the current crop in “batting smarter” to get to the international stage.

The obdurate left-handed former Cobras opening batsman has been appointed as a batting consultant for the WP Cricket Association on Monday.

Puttick retired at the end of last season at the age of 37, having played first-class cricket since the 2000/01 campaign, scoring 10 956 runs at an average of 40.27.

He finished off his career in style by scoring a century in his final innings against the Lions in Potchefstroom in March.

He produced a total of 27 hundreds and 46 half-centuries, and also boasted a strong limited-overs record, with 12 tons and 30 fifties in 172 games (36.21 average).

So, Puttick has seen it all in domestic cricket, and was unfortunate not to earn a Proteas Test cap – although he played in a solitary ODI, where he was bowled by Shane Bond for a duck against New Zealand at Newlands in 2005, having been picked as a late injury replacement.

Now, in his new role in cricket, he hopes to assist the youngsters at the Cobras to make it on the international scene.

“It was something Nabael (Dien, the chief executive of the WPCA) and I had discussed for quite some while. Ashwell (Prince, Cobras coach) had also really encouraged me to stay involved,” Puttick said on the Cobras website on Monday.

“At Cobras level, Janneman (Malan) and Dave (Bedingham) have both passed 100 early in their Cobras careers, Zuby (Hamza) and Pieter (Malan) have been prolific at franchise level for a while now.

“Avi (Mgijima) has been brilliant in the middle-order and played some great innings as has Kyle (Verreynne), who for a young guy has been very consistent and good in pressure situations. Jason Smith has great potential with both bat and ball.”

Puttick, who will work across the board with the Cobras, WP, the Academy and Under-19, feels that he can help the batsmen with bigger-picture thinking of how to approach an innings, as well as technical aspects.

“I think one needs to be observant and then flexible. Every batsman has his own methods, technique and personality.

“One then needs patience to build up the relationship and trust – from there, my goal is to make a batsman more effective at scoring runs,” he said.

“Slight technical adjustments are needed, but it is more about helping batsmen with game plans, building confidence and batting smarter.

WP Cricket Association president Beresford Williams and Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince present Andrew Puttick with a photo collage at the end-of-season awards. Photo: Yusuf Maged

“For now, my aim is to offer guidance and practical skills to the batsmen and I want to try and enhance the levels of improvement of batsmen in the structures, so that there will be strength in depth and competition for places and players moving on to be successful in international cricket.”

The Cobras routed the Lions by an innings and 71 runs at the Wanderers in the four-day arena last week, and are back in action against the Titans at Centurion on Monday, October 22.

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