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October 5, 2005
Pietersen, who dropped an astonishing six catches during the Ashes in the summer, said the crowd was "going nuts" when he successfully pouched a catch, to dismiss Michael Klinger, in Sunday's warm-up game.
"There was going to be some flak, I guess," Pietersen told reporters yesterday, "and they are a lot cruder in this country, they just swear at you. There was a 12-year-old kid effing and blinding at me on the boundary. I just turned round and said, 'What?' and this kid just swore at me again."
Pietersen, 25, who flayed the Australian attack to help England claim their first Ashes series in 16 years, said his hosts had kept the sledging to the sporting field. "The Aussies have given me credit and been responsive to me," he said. "I haven't had a bad word said to me in the street or at dinner."
Pietersen spoke of his awe at sharing the World XI dressing room with the likes of Brian Lara, and said he would not allow celebrity status arising from the Ashes series to affect his cricket. "If I open the curtains and see the sun shining, I am just the happiest bloke because I can go out and express myself on the cricket field," he said. "Cricket is my hobby, my passion. I love performing. I love the hard work and the sweat. This is no monkey tournament out here and I am in the best mental and physical condition."
Pietersen and the World XI are in action against Australia at Melbourne for the first of three one-day matches.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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