DateLine: 11th October 2009
England star batsman Kevin Pietersen said his exploits have earned him respect in his birth nation and he might not be subjected to the same level of abuse in South Africa this winter as he did on his first visit as an England player in 2005.
Pietersen, born in Pietermaritzburg, switched allegiance to England after serving a four-year qualifying period in county cricket.
He scored three ODI centuries against the land of his birth on his first England tour in early 2005 and has since established himself as one of the best batsmen in world cricket.
"But I take that as a compliment, the same as Ricky Ponting does when he comes here. I enjoy it, actually," he told The Independent.
"But in 2005 it was extremely abusive and my mum and dad were very upset, especially my mum.
"That doesn't bring fond memories, even though I scored three hundreds and was man-of-the-series.
"But I don't expect it to be as bad this time. I think people in South Africa respect me now for what I've done."
Pietersen had to miss the final three Tests of last summer's Ashes after undergoing Achilles surgery.
The 29-year-old though said he feels the injury has been "a blessing in disguise" and allowed him to reassess his career in the wake of a turbulent year.
Pietersen lost the England captaincy last January after he expressed doubts in writing about then-coach Peter Moores to the ECB hierarchy.
He concedes he then found it difficult to slip back into the ranks on the subsequent tour of West Indies when Andrew Strauss and Andy Flower had been installed as the new captain and coach respectively.
"It was frustrating," he said. "I put into writing all my suggestions, as I was asked to, and Strauss has got the benefit of all that.
"I've just had to watch it unfold this summer, which has been extremely hard for me, so maybe it was a blessing in disguise for me to be injured and away from everything so I could try to get my hunger back, because it certainly was dwindling."
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