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Butt would like extended run as Pakistan captain

London: New Pakistan captain Salman Butt would welcome an extended stint as national leader after replacing Shahid Afridi for the second Test against Australia and the following four against England.

"Everybody who gets into this kind of challenging position, it helps to be permanently appointed," Butt told reporters on Tuesday.

"But this is what we have and it goes like that with everyone. Hopefully if we can do well we can stretch it (his tenure) a bit longer."

Opening batsman Butt, 25, who registered his team`s top scores in both innings in the losing first Test at Lord`s, will captain his country for the first time against Australia starting at Headingley on Wednesday.

Afridi, who had come out a self-imposed four-year Test exile to captain his country for the first time, quit after throwing his wicket away in both innings, citing his "lack of temperament for Test cricket". Butt`s next assignment after Australia is the four-Test series against England starting on July 29 at Trent Bridge in Nottingham.

"The Pakistan captaincy is a great honour, there is no doubt about it but the way it has come is not a way it has come to anyone before so I hope it goes well," Butt said.

"It`s a challenge for me but I have to keep on going as a player and as a batsman which is more important. It`s a young unit so shouldn`t be that much of a hassle."

Butt praised what he called Afridi`s "honest" decision and said it was to the benefit of the team because a Test specialist will come in. Butt did not reveal his replacement though it is expected to be former captain Shoaib Malik, who was omitted at Lord`s.

Australia are seeking their eighth consecutive Test match victory. They have not lost a Test to Pakistan since 1995.

Bureau Report

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