1. Made headlines as a bowler
Smith is one of the best batsmen in Australia’s top order, but initially he made his name as a bowler. He was mentored by the legendary Shane Warne and was New South Wales’ leading wicket-taker in the KFC T20 2007-08 competition. He made his Test debut in July 2010 against Pakistan as a leg-spinner.
2. Loves tennis and is a Roger Federer fan
Smith is a sports-loving character. When he isn’t playing or watching cricket, he spends time watching some sport; tennis is his favourite and the legendary Roger Federer is his hero. Earlier this year, during the Australian Open, Smith and his girlfriend Danielle Willis, got themselves photographed along with Federer and Australian tennis star Lleyton Hewitt.
3. Passion for horse races
Smith is a huge horse racing fan and co-owns four racehorses. He co-owns three of them with leading horse trainer Chris Waller.
4. Butt of jokes to a superstar
Smith’s story has panned out like the Marvel superhero Peter Parker. When Smith arrived on the scene, there were talks that he could be the next Warne. He was leg-spinner who made his Test debut despite of a bowling average of 72. He was a talented cricketer who could do bits of all. He didn’t fit an Australian cricket star’s template. He was shy, and by his own admission, his role in the side was to raise team spirits by telling jokes to players. Like Ravindra Jadeja, the baby-faced Smith too was a butt of jokes in social media space. In January 2011, Michael Clarke made plea on social media on behalf of Smith. Clarke tweeted: “Trying to find a date for Steve Smith to take to the AB medal? You can tweet me with your expressions of interest.”
In a remarkable turnaround, Smith now has a beautiful girlfriend, a glittering cricket career, lucrative T20 league contracts, is tipped to be the next Australian skipper and is the country’s World Cup-winning hero.
5. Lady love
Since 2011, Smith is dating Danielle Willis, a law student from Macquire University. According to his teammates, Smith tries and learns legal terms online. In a Sydney Morning Herald report, Smith was quoted as saying, “I try to occasionally learn some law lingo. A few words here and there, which is always interesting. Most of it goes over my head. I’m not quite smart enough for that. But I try my best.” Danielle [Dani] said, “I try and educate him and Steve tries to educate me on his art.” Danielle takes Steve’s art too seriously…
6. …and she helps him practice harder
Your life is set if your partner takes keen interest in your passion and profession. Smith is surely lucky on that front. Dani is an intelligent young Sydney woman immersed in thick book and dating a guy who couldn’t finish school. In a report from The Australian, Smith said, “She’s a bit too smart for me, I think.” Dani, in fact helps Smith practice harder and many a times is seen feeding balls into the bowling machine at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). In many interviews, Smith has acknowledged her role in his developing as a cricketer.
7. Dominates Allan Border Medal 2015
From a guy with no date and confused about his role in the side to hogging the entire spotlight, Smith has marked another turnaround, this time in Allan Border Medals. In 2015, he won the Allan Border Medal and also won the Test Player of the Year and One-Day International (ODI) Player of the Year. In fact, he is currently the world ranked four batsman in Test cricket.
8. Phil Hughes’ good mate
Smith and Hughes played a lot of cricket together. They went to England together before they turned adult and became great friends. Hughes’ tragic death after being struck on the head in November 2014, shocked the cricketing world and it was a very difficult time for his buddy Smith. In an interview with The Australian, Smith said, “Me and Phil were pretty close. It was a tough, tough period that.” In a wonderful tribute to his “little friend”, Smith in the Adelaide Test, walked to the 408 (Hughes’ Baggy Green number) painted in the grass and pointing his bat skyward. In what was a difficult emotional time, Smith scored a steely unbeaten 162, contributing in the side’s win.
9. Smith isn’t a “huge drinker”
The Aussies like to party and are usually loud mouthed larger than life characters. They love to play hard and celebrate triumphs with the deserved drinks. However Smith, who apart from his “want to win” attitude isn’t Aussie-like in many ways, doesn’t like to drink much. From a chubby young boy, he has gone much leaner and fitter. “There are a lot of carbs in beer. When I’ve been doing the diet, I’ve had my alcohol consumption pretty low. I’m not a huge drinker,” Smith was quoted by Sydney Morning Herald.
10. When captain Smith asked the veteran Stuart MacGill to “f**k off”
Smith may have started as a shy guy, occasionally cracking jokes with seniors, but the future Aussie skipper takes his leadership role very seriously. During a match as captain of Sydney Sixers in the first season of BBL. Veteran leg-spinner Stuart MacGill protested when Smith asked him to field at fine-leg. MacGill said he was sore, and was in the side to bowl. That didn’t go well with the young skipper, who shot back, “Look mate, I am the captain, you do what I say. Now f**k off and get down there.”
Smith has made his priorities clear and speaking of this incident, he said, “I’m not afraid to do that. It comes with the job, and everyone understands that. I think he [MacGill] was a little surprised at first. But then he went to the position I had said.”