'I laugh when they (South Africans) call me a traitor,' says KP

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East London (S. Africa), Dec.8 (ANI): England batsman Kevin Pietersen takes it as a compliment that he runs a gauntlet of hate every time he bats in South Africa.

England's star batsman says the abuse puts him in a category with modern greats Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Graeme Smith.

That trio are booed or worse - but have the talent and mental strength not to let it affect them.

The Sun quoted KP as saying: "It's a compliment. If you keep your composure and thrive on it, there is not a problem. That's what I do. I find it funny. I've had it since the start of my career. A few giving me abuse on the boundary is no worry. Surely they have better things to do with their lives."

KP upset some South Africans with his objection a few years ago to the quota system that demands teams play a certain number of non-whites.

Pietersen believed his path to the top was being blocked - and decided to make a career in England.

Many in South Africa also privately disagree with the system but have stayed. KP's crime, they believe, was to flounce off. (ANI)

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