Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith marries long-time love Dani Willis

In a year plagued by the ball-tampering scandal, finally some good news for former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith.The 29-year-old married his long-time love, Dani Willis, on Saturday in a secret ceremony held at the popular wedding venue Bendooley Estate in Berrima, located in the Southern Highlands of NSW.The newlyweds both shared the same black and white photo to Instagram to announce the occasion.While Dani, 27, simply put the date in the caption, the groom gushed a little more about his beautiful bride, who wore a beaded gown by Australian designers J'Aton Couture."Today I got to marry my best friend. What an absolutely incredible day. @dani_willis looked unbelievably beautiful,"
Steve wrote.The stunning portrait was captured by Melbourne-based wedding photographers Erin & Tara, who have been featured in Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.Other guests from the ceremony also shared their happy snaps of the event to social media.Alex Vavilova posted a picture of the invite, making a cricket joke by calling it the "wedding of the century... excuse the pun".While some guests shared photos of the couple kissing, many posed along the picturesque river bank in the afternoon light after the 4 O'clock ceremony, before heading to the The Stables for the black tie reception.Along with a slew of WAGs, the cricketer's fellow players were also in attendance, including Nathan Lyon, Usman Khawaja, Mitch Marsh, Moises Henriques, Pat Cummins and Aaron Finch. After the pair shared their first dance, it seems the bride changed into a mini-dress version of her gown, also created by J'Aton Couture, featuring 80s-style big shoulders.

Shire cricketer Steve Smith marries Dani Willis in a secret ceremony in the Southern Highlands

Former Australian cricket captain Steve Smith has married his long-term partner Dani Willis in a secret ceremony in the Southern Highlands. The wedding came more than a year after Smith got down on one knee and proposed to law student Willis in New York atop the famous Rockefeller Center.“Today I got to marry my best friend. What an absolutely incredible day. Dani Willis looked unbelievably beautiful,” Smith captioned a picture of the pair on Instagram.Wedding guests included Australian cricketers Mitch Marsh, Pat Cummins, Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja and Moises Henriques.The ceremony was held at Bendooley Estate, Berrima, which is popular for weddings.The reception was held in the Book Barn section of the estate described on the website as a “grand barn conversion which features cathedral ceilings and king-sized chandeliers creating an incredible space for your
wedding”.Smith, currently serving a 12-month ban imposed by Cricket Australia (CA) in the wake of the Cape Town cheating scandal.A Sutherland junior, Smith is expected to link with  the Sutherland District Cricket Club for the 2018-19 Sydney grade season which starts in a week’s time.Sutherland treasurer Tom Iceton confirmed Smith would be lining up for the Sharks – alongside former Test all-rounder Shane Watson – this Sydney Grade season.“We’re looking forward to seeing Smithy back playing with us,” Iceton said.“It’s going to be exciting for our players throughout the grades, particularly first grade. “Our younger guys, Austin Waugh for example, it’ll be a great opportunity for them. They want to get to the next level and will have the chance to learn from a bloke like Steve.”

New Australian coach Justin Langer is attempting to instill a better culture as he puts his imprint on the team

"The players are sitting down as a group, both male and female, and working out how they want to play."The scrutiny on the Australian cricket team has intensified this year with the disastrous tour of South Africa which saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft receive bans for ball tampering. While Taylor did not want to admit that Ali had
been racially abused, he did concede that a cultural review into the Australian team had perhaps taken too long."There’s been enough smoke to know that there’s some fire there," he said."There’s probably been warning signs for a while and we’ve probably been too slow to react to those warning signs."

Test discard Maxwell finds one-day form

Test discard Glenn Maxwell began his bid for a return to international cricket in impressive fashion as the domestic season opened in Townsville on Sunday.In hot conditions at Riverway Stadium, Victoria were bowled out for a scratchy 240 from 48.3 overs in the one-day cup match against Queensland.Maxwell top-scored with a confident 80 off 91 balls in his first match since his omission from Australia's squad for the upcoming two-Test series against Pakistan.Along with Nic Maddinson, Maxwell shared in a crucial 101-run stand for
the fifth wicket.Maxwell came to the wicket with his side in trouble at 3-40 but the hard-hitting batsman looked confident from the outset before eventually being caught on the boundary.Former NSW-batsman Maddinson played a crucial hand in his first outing for Victoria, scoring 68 off 82 balls.Maxwell and Maddinson were the only two Victorian batsman to pass 20 - captain Peter Handscomb out for no score - as the Queensland bowling attack dominated.Paceman Mark Steketee starred with 4-35 off nine overs, including the key wickets of Maxwell and Marcus Harris (19).

CA set to investigate vile Ashes sledge

Cricket Australia will investigate claims from England allrounder Moeen Ali that he was sledged on the basis of his religion and appearance during his Ashes debut in 2015.Although the series opener in Cardiff was a personal triumph for Ali, his role in England's victory was tarnished by an alleged on-field exchange with an unnamed Australian player.Moeen, who scored 77 runs in the first innings and took five wickets in the match, said the opponent called him 'Osama', a reference to Muslim terrorist Osama bin
Laden.Writing in his autobiography, Moeen said: "It was a great first Ashes Test in terms of my personal performance, however there was one incident which had distracted me."An Australian player turned to me on the field and said, 'Take that, Osama'. I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field."The player involved denied making the slur when confronted about it."I told a couple of the guys what the player had said to me and I think (England coach) Trevor Bayliss must have raised it with Darren Lehmann, the Australians' coach.

Moeen: Aussie player called me 'Osama'

England star Moeen Ali has revealed a member of the Australian cricket team called him “Osama” during the 2015 Ashes series.Details of the sledge and Australia’s intense rivalry with the old enemy have been released in the all-rounder’s new autobiography Moeen.The book delves into how the 31-year-old had just starred for his side in his Ashes in the series
opener, with a five wicket haul and a knock of 77 playing a crucial role in the 169-run victory.According to excerpts of the book published in The Times, it’s clear the clash completely overshadowed memories of a remarkable performance on the pitch that day for Moeen.“An Australian player had turned to me on the field and said, ‘Take that, Osama,” he wrote.“I could not believe what I had heard. I remember going really red. I have never been so angry on a cricket field.”

Brad Hodge backs Test discard Maxwell

As someone who knows more than most about being overlooked for Australian Test selection, Brad Hodge has gone in to bat for Test discard Glenn Maxwell.Hodge, who retired from all forms of international cricket last season after a decorated 25-year career which included just six Tests, said Australian selectors hadn't given the Victorian all-rounder enough chances to prove his worth at the top level."It is disappointing ... for Maxwell to be out of the side," Hodge told Macquarie Sports Radio on Friday.
HODGE V MAXWELL RECORDS

TEST

Hodge - Six Tests, 503 runs, 55.88 average, 203 top score

Maxwell - Seven Tests, 339 runs, 26.07 average, one century, 4-127 best bowling

FIRST-CLASS

Hodge - 223 matches, 17084 runs, 48.81 average, 51 centuries

Maxwell - 59 matches, 3738 runs, 41.07 average, seven centuries, 60 wickets at 44.18.

JLT Cup squad preview: South Australia

Possible starting XI: Weatherald, Carey (wk), Ferguson, Cooper, Ross, Lehmann (c), Valente, Richardson, Mennie, Zampa, Worrall.

Who they're missing: Travis Head (Australia duties).

Player to watch: "Alex Ross is a very underrated cricketer, and he's probably been a bit stiff to miss out on some Australia A selections. He's one of the most talented players I've ever seen, and hopefully this tournament he can make a couple of hundreds and win a few games for us from five or six. He's been pretty solid for us in white-ball cricket and he'll be the most key man for us. I think the game is generally won by the guy at five or six who can make that quick-fire 30 or 40 when it really matters, and Ross did that for us well two years ago and in a game against New South Wales last year, so hopefully he can do it consistently this year."
 

JLT Cup squad preview: Tasmania

Possible starting XI: McDermott, Webster, Wade, Bailey (c), Silk, Doran (wk), Faulkner, Milenko, Rose, Summers, Bird.

Who they're missing: Tim Paine (Australia duties).

Player to watch: "Aaron Summers is one. If he gets a game he's going to be really exciting. With the ball in his hand, something always happens."

Team strength: "We've got a bit of pace in our bowling attack, which is always nice to have and we’ve developed a team that's full of match winners."

Biggest threat: "I think everyone is. Queensland have been really consistent across all formats for a number of years and we're playing a bit of the tournament on their home turf so that will be a challenge. But I'm going to sit on the fence there. Everyone will be a challenge."

JLT Cup squad preview: NSW

Player to watch: "The whole squad brings a different type of flair," said Sangha. "I think every individual has something about their game that I love watching. Nick Larkin has been performing really well in the trial games. He got a hundred (against the NPS, who featured Starc and Lyon) when we went to Brisbane, so he's hitting the ball quite nicely. It would be nice to see him do really well.
Possible starting XI: J Edwards, Hughes, Patterson, Henriques, Gibson, Larkin, Nevill, Sams, Abbott, O'Keefe, M Edwards.

Who they're missing: Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon (Australia duties), Josh Hazlewood, Pat Cummins (injured).

JLT One-Day Cup preview: Victoria

Players to watch: "Marcus Harris didn't hit his full potential in last year's JLT Cup but he's an exciting one. If he has a good tournament, it bodes well for us. Cameron White is another one, I don't think he's missed out too often over the last four to five years in this tournament. They'll be important players – most of the time your experience gets you over the line in these tournaments."
Possible starting XI: Harris, White, Maxwell, Handscomb (c/wk), Maddinson, Short, Sutherland, O'Connell, Tremain, Boland, Coleman.

Who they're missing: Peter Siddle, Aaron Finch, Jon Holland (Australia duties), James Pattinson (injury, for at least the early stages for the JLT Cup).

JLT Cup squad preview: Western Australia

Player to watch: I think our senior spearhead Nathan Coulter-Nile has been building up well. Obviously with his injuries, he's getting to know his body well and know when he's bowling too much or needs to bowl more. He's the guy to watch out for; he's ready to go, he's been out the game for almost 12 months now so he's ready to kick on.
Possible starting XI: Short, Inglis (wk), Cartwright, Stoinis, Turner, Wells, Agar, Coulter-Nile, Richardson, Paris, Tye.

Who they're missing: Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh (Australia duties), Jason Behrendorff (managed).

JLT One-Day Cup preview: Queensland

Player to watch: Chris Lynn. With his power at the top, he's a player who can do some real damage and with an eye on the World Cup next year, I reckon he'll have himself match-ready and he'll want to come out and prove that he should be in that side. He should have a good year. Having that captaincy responsibility as well, he'll really take that on and get us off to some great starts, then we can all bat around him. He got some really good training in with us before he left for the CPL. He was looking really good, hitting the ball a long way. He kept in touch with the boys and he's a good guy to have around the group so we're excited to have him back."
Possible starting XI: Burns, Bryant, Lynn, Truloff, Heazlett, Pfeffer (wk), Wildermuth, Steketee, Feldman, Swepson, Stanlake.

Who they're missing: Jimmy Peirson (injured), Usman Khawaja, Matt Renshaw, Michael Neser, Marnus Labuschagne, Brendan Doggett (all Australia duties).

JLT One-Day Cup 2018 - Western Australia Squad

The Warriors will be without the Marsh brothers due to Test duty but will still field a strong side for their title defence. Spinner Ashton Agar will play the first two games before heading the UAE, adding to an international quality bowling attack featuring star quicks Nathan Coulter-Nile, Jhye Richardson, Andrew Tye and Joel Paris. BBL star D'Arcy Short looks set for an extended run as an opener and keep an eye on damaging allrounder Marcus Stoinis in the middle order.
Squad: Ashton Turner (c), Ashton Agar, Hilton Cartwright, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Cameron Green, Josh Inglis, Matt Kelly, Joel Paris, Josh Philippe, Jhye Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Marcus Stoinis, Andrew Tye, Jonathan Wells.

JLT One-Day Cup 2018 - Victoria Squad

The absence of Aaron Finch, Peter Siddle and Jon Holland due to international duty has been offset for the Vics by the surprise Test omissions of Glenn Maxwell and skipper Peter Handscomb. There are three teenagers in the squad, led by exciting leg-spinning recruit Tom O'Connell, while dumped Blues batsman Nic Maddinson will also be looking to make an impact for his new state.
Squad: Peter Handscomb (c), Scott Boland, Jackson Coleman, Travis Dean, Sebastian Gotch, Marcus Harris, Mackenzie Harvey, Nic Maddinson, Glenn Maxwell, Tom O'Connell, Matt Short, Will Sutherland, Chris Tremain, Cameron White.