Cricket WAG Dani Willis has opened up about the ball-tampering scandal that left her superstar husband Steve Smith sidelined for 12 months.
The first year of marriage has been a rocky one for the pair, who walked down the aisle just months after Smith, 30, the former captain of Australia’s national team, was stood down from his role.
The batsman – along with teammates Cameron Bancroft and David Warner – were punished with temporary bans for their involvement in the 2018 ball tampering scandal in South Africa, and faced contempt and mockery from fans around the world.
But after a tumultuous 12 months, Ms Willis, 29, says they are finally settling back into normal life.
The first year of marriage has been a rocky one for the pair, who walked down the aisle just months after Smith, 30, (pictured with wife Dani Willis) the former captain of Australia’s national team, was stood down from his role
Cricket WAG Dani Willis (pictured) has switched careers from being a lawyer to flipping houses as her superstar husband returns to the pitch following the 12 month ban
‘The past is the past and we just always look forward and just take each day as it comes,’ she told the Daily Telegraph.
‘We’re always looking forward to the future.
‘It’s really nice to be home after a long tour away (we’re) finally settling back in and excited for the summer ahead.’
Smith, who admitted he almost threw in the towel following the scandal, returned to the pitch for his first international match recently since serving his 12 month-ban.
His return saw him labelled the world’s best batsman during an Ashes Test in England, earlier this year.
His masterful knock left cricket fans all over the world stunned as Australians called him a genius and said ‘we don’t deserve him’.
Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined the praise, tweeting: ‘Steve Smith. Two innings, two tons, too good!’
However, about a week after the praise, Smith was dealt another blow when he was struck by a vicious bouncer from the bowling of Jofra Archer during the second Test at Lord’s in London.
Steve Smith (pictured) David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were all slapped with bans for conspiring to cheat against South Africa in March 2018, by rubbing the ball with sandpaper
The past 12 months haven’t been easy for the pair, who were married just months after Steve Smith (pictured with wife Dani) was banned from the sport for 12 months
The impact sent Smith to the floor, in scenes reminiscent of the 2014 death of his friend and fellow Australia and New South Wales player Phillip Hughes.
Smith was forced to walk from the pitch after he was hit but returned to the crease to complete his innings after passing on and off-field concussion tests.
Having returned to the pitch he could soon be eligible to resume the captaincy in March next year, which means a hectic travel schedule for the young couple.
Smith’s schedule has seen the former lawyer switch careers, focusing her time on flipping houses instead.
Steve Smith is seen sharing a kiss with wife Dani Willis (both pictured) on the pitch after a game
Australian cricketer Steve Smith (pictured, with wife Dani Willis) earlier this year admitted an elbow injury nearly ended his career as he served his 12-month-suspension following the Sandpapergate saga
The stunning blonde said she enjoys property development as it allows her to express her creative side.
The couple tied the knot in a secret ceremony held in Berrima, New South Wales, in September 2018, after the sports star proposed at the top of the Rockefeller Centre during the pair’s romantic break away in the US.
She later confirmed the news on Instagram.
Flaunting her engagement ring in a snap taken just moments after Steve got down on one knee, Ms Willis wrote: ‘The beginning of forever.’
The long-term couple first began dating in 2011 and announced their engagement six years later.
He married his now-partner Ms Willis in a secret ceremony in the Southern Highlands in September last year
After a tumultuous 12 months, Ms Willis, 29, (pictured with husband Steve Smith) says they are finally settling back into normal life