Steve Smith and David Warner were on top of the world, driving million dollar sports cars and expanding their Sydney property portfolios.
From police escorts on arrival at the airport to security guards around the clock, the batting stars were secure inside an impenetrable bubble.
As their salaries soared, endorsements rolled in and the runs kept coming, the pair appear to have felt invincible – but now it has all come crashing down.
Steve Smith and David Warner were on top of the world, driving million dollar sports cars and expanding their Sydney property portfolios
From police escorts on arrival at the airport to security guards around the clock, the batting stars were secure inside an impenetrable bubble
As their salaries soared, endorsements rolled in and the runs kept coming, the pair appear to have felt invincible – but now it has all come crashing down
With the ball tampering scandal worsening by the minute, the stars now stand to lose it all, and even face the prospect of being banned from cricket for life.
The Australian public, reeling from the cheating revelations, has now begun to question how it could have gone so wrong for their national team’s biggest stars.
The level of outrage appears to have caught the Australian team by surprise, their bubble burst by the avalanche of criticism dumped on them after they were caught.
Both players saw their salaries for playing in the Indian Premier League double to $2.4million, making them the highest-paid Australians in the franchise’s history.
The multi-million dollar Twenty20 salaries came on top of their earnings from Cricket Australia – over $1.2million for Smith in 2017 and over $900,000 for Warner
Then there are the lucrative advertising and sponsorship deals – Smith has a deal with New Balance and Warner works with Milo, Asics, Toyota and LG.
Neither player has avoided flaunting their wealth, with both batsman buying premium properties in Sydney and Warner developing a taste for fast cars.
Warner and his wife Candice were spotted in the beachside Sydney suburb of Coogee in a $500,000 McLaren sports car on Valentine’s Day this year.
He is also the owner of a a $450,000 Lamborghini Huracan, which he uses to drive his wife and children to the supermarket.
Smith has an extensive and growing property portfolio – adding to his Coogee apartment with homes in Balmain, Birchgrove, Sans Souci and Marrickville.
His Coogee two-bedroom apartment with ocean views cost him $1.75million in 2011, and he is seeking tenants to rent out his Balmain East terrace at $2000 a week.
Warner also used to call Coogee home, until he sold his waterfront mansion for $7million in 2016.
A year later David and Candice were living in a luxury rental in Maroubra, while building a dream home in nearby Lurline Bay.
With the cheating scandal spiralling out of control, Smith and Warner could see tens of millions in potential earnings dry up.
‘He [Smith] will lose it all, everything. And I doubt whether he will ever play cricket for Australia again. It is dreadful,’ celebrity agent Max Markson told the Today show.
‘If he is earning $2 or $3million a year or more and there is ongoing percentage of deals and back ends and things like that.
‘So if he has another 10 years, that’s $30 to $40million. He has a career ahead of him. But he will always be known as a cheater.’
Smith is now believed to be flying back to Australia, unable to play in the final test of the series due to his one-match suspension.
The mood in the Australian camp will no doubt be a sombre one, summed up by stand-in captain Tim Paine’s comments following Australia’s crushing defeat.
‘It’s been a bizarre, strange and horrible 24-hours,’ Paine told a press conference after his team’s 322-run loss.
‘They are struggling, probably the reality and enormity of what has happened is starting to sink in.
‘I don’t think all [the players] would have expected this to be as big as it has been, especially the fallout that we have seen from back home.’