Pietersen recently signed a deal to play for St Lucia Zouks in just the second season of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), and Richards believes that his signature will attract many fans.
"Kevin will be sorely missed," he told the Guardian. "Why the board made the decision to shorten his Test career is none of my business. All I know is he is one of England's best and he's a breath of fresh air. I'm very excited individuals of the stature of Kevin Pietersen are coming here, it's a plus for the region. He is a brilliant player who has class from a personality factor.
"We all know he is no longer in the England team and that's a loss to cricket but we can benefit from his class in this tournament. I love anyone who can take batsmanship to the next level and Kevin falls into that category. He's the kind of guy who can help put bums on seats. He has his own style and I like it because it is about aggression and taking chances.
"That is how you should play. A lot of the time it can seem too technical but really it is all about the entertainment factor. If I am at the ground when he is playing, he is one of the guys I will take the time to watch."
Pietersen will play the remainder of Surrey's T20 Blast group games before teaming up with his St Lucia colleagues.