In the wake of Cameron Bancroft‘s ball tampering scandal – which Smith admitted in a subsequent press conference was “not within the spirit of the game” – the sport’s golden boy is tipped to be toppled from his throne.
The 28-year-old has already been forced to step down as captain of the Indian Premier League’s Rajasthan Royals, meaning he might not only feel the brunt of the hoopla personally, but financially too; that contract was worth $2.4 million, after all.
The Out Loud team discuss what the Cricket Australia scandal means for us as a nation…
But what of the woman who Smith has described as a “terrific” support since they met in 2011?
The Aussie batsman met his future wife in a bar; he had recently been turfed from the Australian cricket team for no particular reason, and was in the midst of the first Big Bash League. She was in the middle of law and commerce degrees at Macquarie University.
“She has been amazing. She’s always there for me when I’m around,” Smith told Sydney Morning Herald of his partner in 2014.
“She always gives me good advice, and tells me the truth. It’s nice that you have some honest feedback to come home to all the time. She’s been terrific for me over the last few years.”
Willis is largely credited as being a calming influence on her partner, who, after a two-year stint out of the national team, went on to not only cement his place as a permanent fixture, but become captain.
“She has [kept me balanced],” he told the publication in the lead up to his captaincy being announced. “It’s nice to have someone to come home to and get the honest truth about all aspects of life.
“She watches everything: all the press conferences. She always tells if I’ve done something wrong – and if I’ve done something well. It’s nice.”
Smith and Willis became engaged in June 2017 on top of the Rockefeller Building in New York. The now-Sydney lawyer captioned a photo of them together, “The beginning of forever.”
It’s not yet clear when the pair will be married.
Willis is yet to respond to the controversy that now encircles her fiancé. Now, like many of the wives and girlfriends of the athletes involved, she is facing brutal trolling online for something she took no part in.
As for Smith, he has sponsorship deals with New Balance and WeetBix that hang in the balance, along with the future of his sporting career and reputation.