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  • Champions League T20 2012

Simons: 'Misread' KP 'crucial' to Delhi

Andrew McGlashan and Firdose Moonda
October 8, 2012 « Tiger eyes Ryder Cup captaincy | Chartbeat test »
Kevin Pietersen has often looked happy in his Delhi Daredevils role © AFP
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Kevin Pietersen's coach at the Champions League T20 believes the batsman is often 'misread' and has said he brings many attributes to the Delhi Daredevils team.

Eric Simons, the former South Africa head coach, does not have any issues with Pietersen who will link up with his Delhi team-mates for the CLT20 following his stint as a TV expert during the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka in wake of his omission from the England side.

Pietersen has made no secret of his enjoyment of the IPL, so it will come as little surprise that Simons only had positive words to say about him ahead of the CLT20.

"KP's strength is the way he is," Simons said. "He was a crucial part of our team at the IPL. What you don't see is what he contributes off the field to the side. You need to understand your players and be able to manage the various cultures and personalities.

"I don't think you need to keep KP in check. As long as all your players are focused on one objective, and that's what we were able to achieve in this team during the IPL, then people are allowed to be who they are. I think KP is misread many times in situations."

There will be some interesting reunions when Pietersen arrives in Johannesburg as Morne Morkel, the South Africa quick bowler, is also part of the Delhi squad. It will be the first time Pietersen has met any of the South Africans since he was dropped from the England team earlier this year after it was revealed he had exchanged messages with them during the Test series.

The relations between the ECB and Cricket South Africa have soured in recent days after David Collier, the ECB chief executive, claimed South African players had 'provoked' Pietersen into sending the messages. CSA has strongly rebuffed the claims.

The ECB has now started a process of bringing Pietersen back into the fold after he signed a four-month contract last week, with a view to him being available for the Test series in India, although the final decision rests with Andy Flower, the England team director.

One of the initial issues between Pietersen and the ECB was his desire to play the full IPL to maximise is $2million contract, but he has since said that he will be fully committed to all cricket for England - that would mean being available for the home series against New Zealand next year, which clashes with the IPL.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent, Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor

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