Names In The News
Barcelona defender GERARD PIQUÉ agreed a contract extension until '22. The new deal includes a €500M ($611.4M) buyout clause. The Spain int'l, 30, has played 422 games for the Catalan club since rejoining from ManU in '08 (BBC, 1/18). ... STEVE SMITH won the Int'l Cricket Council's test player of the year award for a second time, but was "beaten to the top prize" by Indian VIRAT KOHLI, who earned ODI player of the year and overall player of '17 honors (AAP, 1/18). ... Cricketer BEN STOKES' England return "will be delayed once again," after he was summoned to court on the same day he was expected to play for England in New Zealand. Stokes has been called to appear at Bristol Magistrates Court on Feb. 13 "to answer charges of affray" (London TELEGRAPH, 1/18).