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Langer takes on boxing champ

Sydney: Australian opening batsman Justin Langer took on world flyweight champion Vic Darchinyan in a promotional bout here on Monday and according to the boxer, made a good fist of it.

Langer, 35, holds a black belt in the martial art Zen Du Kai and uses boxing as part of his regular fitness work in Perth. 'Inside the boxing ring it's the same as when you're playing Test cricket ' nowhere to hide. You've got to face a lot of your own fears,' Langer said. If you punch someone properly it's like hitting the ball in the middle of the bat ' it's a really nice feeling,' Langer said.

Shiv leads Indians

Kuala Lumpur: Shiv Kapur leads a group of four Indians in the top-20 of the UBS Asian Tour of Merit at the end of the Maybank Malaysian Open. However, Shiv, who tied for 18th at the event, slipped from third to fifth place. Gaurav Ghei moved into top-20 by tying with his compatriot in Kuala Lumpur.

Kapur, who picked up $14,421 for his finish, now has $80,209, while Malaysian Open winner Charlie Wi moved to the top with $213,981 after picking up the top prize of $208,330. Other Indians in the top-20 include Jeev Milkha Singh, who slipped from ninth to 15th after missing the cut last week. Amandeep Johl dropped one place to 19th, while Ghei was the only Indian to make a significant move upwards from 29th to 20th. Rahil Gangjee is 38th, Jyoti Randhawa is 44th and Arjun Singh 47th.

Czech experiment

Prague: The Czech Republic have called-up three untried players for two pre-World Cup friendlies against Turkey.

Coach Karel Brueckner named a 28-man squad on Monday for the consecutive matches against Turkey A and B teams in Izmir on March 1.

Attacking midfielder David Kobylik from Arminia Bielefeld and Hertha Berlin striker Vaclav Sverkos were named in the squad along with Slovan Liberec defender Tomas Zapotocny.

Araujo named Japan's best

Tokyo: Brazilian striker Araujo has been named Japan's 2005 Footballer of the Year in a poll of Japanese soccer writers. The 28-year-old scored 33 goals last season to help Gamba Osaka win their first J-League title before returning to Brazil to join Cruzeiro.

Araujo became the first non-Japanese winner of the award since Yugoslav Dragan Stojkovic in 1995 when he was at Nagoya Grampus Eight. Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura finished second with Araujo's former Gamba striking partner Masashi Oguro third.

Spurs' move

London: Tottenham Hotspur have become the first club in England to launch a campaign to stamp out homophobic chanting at their home matches.

The move comes after Spurs fans sang an offensive song about former captain Sol Campbell . 'We are aware of the spate of homophobic songs that have been creeping into the game,' a spokesman, said. 'We have printed a warning in our match programme to remind fans that that kind of abuse won't be tolerated.

Soccer: FA Cup: Highlights from 3 pm on ESPN

Cricket: Sri Lanka in Bangladesh: First ODI highlights from 8 pm on STAR Sports

Soccer: Champions League: Real Madrid vs Arsenal live from 1 am (Wednesday) on STAR Sports


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