Kevin Pietersen has twice had to ask foul-mouthed spectators to stop swearing in front of children during England's tour of South Africa. Pietersen has generated a mixed reception from home crowds back in his native country for a Test tour which moves to Durban's Kingsmead for the second match of four tomorrow. The mercurial batsman has regularly made it clear he has no problem with crowds booing and whistling at him. But he thinks swearing in front of children is taking things a step too far.
"The only thing that I don't like is when people swear and abuse you with swearing when there are kids around," said the Pietermaritzburg-born right hander. "That's happened a couple of times, and I've had to ask a few stewards to speak to people concerned. "You can say what you like. But when there are kids around there's no need to swear. That's poor." Pietersen, who made 40 and 81 in the drawn first Test at Centurion, was the target of some uncomplimentary chanting there - but only from a small section of the crowd. He felt he had to take action over the unsuitable language.
"It's happened on this tour a couple of times, where I've had to see if something can be sorted," added the 29-year-old, who is due to become a father for the first time next spring. "Kids are waiting on the boundary for your autograph. You're signing things, and people are swearing at you. It's just not great for the kids. I don't mind it - but just for the kids, it's not good." Pietersen also confirmed, however, that Graeme Smith's South Africa team have behaved impeccably towards him.
"I have a fantastic relationship with their players - I don't have a single problem on the field," he said. "Smithy's calmed down and turned into a really good guy." Smith has more immediate concerns - namely the fitness of pace spearhead Dale Steyn. Should Steyn recover from a hamstring problem, Smith has revealed it will be Friedel de Wet, so impressive at Centurion, who will drop out. * PA Sport