Names In The News
England wicketkeeper SARAH TAYLOR could take a small step toward becoming the first woman to play county cricket this summer after Sussex "made an informal offer to select her for their second XI." Taylor, the world’s No. 1 batsman in women’s Twenty20 matches and No. 3 in one-day internationals, is in line to play for Sussex’s reserve side after England women’s head coach MARK LANE recommended her to the county. Taylor: "It is daunting but brilliant that he backs me to do it in men’s cricket." No date has been set for Taylor to make her second XI county debut, but "she will prepare for the challenge by playing in the men’s Birmingham and District Premier League for Walmley, in Sutton Coldfield" (LONDON TIMES, 1/14). ... Barcelona striker LIONEL MESSI will present his fourth Ballon d'Or award to Barça fans before Wednesday's home game against Malaga (MUNDO DEPORTIVO, 1/14). ... Bundesliga club Hannover 96 has signed Brazilian midfielder FRANCA. The 21-year-old signed a contract until June 30, 2016 (Hannover 96). ... China's LI MAO has joined Malaysia's New Vision badminton club as coach. He "will be working with the top shuttlers from the centre," co-owned by former int'l players YEOH KAY BIN and K. YOGENDRAN (THE STAR, 1/14).