Cricket fans were left baffled on Thursday night when they tuned into Channel Nine’s coverage of the Ashes.
But it had nothing to do with what was happening on the field.
When the coverage kicked off half an hour before the first ball, fans were stunned to see none other than Aussie tennis tennis legend Todd Woodbridge hosting.
Woodbridge did a fine job and seemed to know what he was talking about, but viewers were very confused nonetheless.
Former Aussie cricketer Jamie Cox tweeted: “So how’d we get Todd Woodbridge hosting the cricket?”
So how’d we get Todd Woodbridge hosting the cricket? #ashes2019— Jamie Cox (@jamiecox1969) August 1, 2019
Channel Seven journo Dean Felton was particularly bemused, mocking Woodbridge’s cricket expertise in a series of tweets.
“Test cricket veteran Todd Woodbridge expects England to take the new ball after nine games, or seven if it was used during the warmup,” he tweeted.
“Former Ashes skipper Todd Woodbridge wonders if Steve Smith’s game might be better suited to clay,” he said in another tweet.
With Nine and Seven switching their coverage of the cricket and tennis this year, Seven and Fox Sports have all the former cricket greats working in commentary.
Some suggested Woodbridge was all Nine had left.
Nine exec 1: “do you think we could get a tennis guy to anchor our cricket coverage?”— Matt Smithson (@mattsmithson) August 1, 2019
Nine exec 2: “well there’s no one else left”
Todd Woodbridge: “Welcome to Nine’s coverage of The Ashes”#TheAshes2019
No. Todd Woodbridge. No. No. No.— Ben Smee (@BenSmee) August 1, 2019
me every time Todd Woodbridge says or does anything pic.twitter.com/1EfO8yjech— NBA Straya (@NbaStraya) August 1, 2019
Todd Woodbridge compering the Ashes?? pic.twitter.com/7VgcShmooX— Brett McClen (@vineluvva) August 1, 2019
Oh dear, Todd Woodbridge is trending. Just wait till the Ashes of 2027 when Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are channel 9's co-anchors— Rick Eyre on cricket (@rickeyrecricket) August 1, 2019
Woodbridge ‘privileged’ to be hosting
Woodbridge said he’d grown up watching cricket and felt privileged to host Channel Nine’s coverage.
“Like most Australians, I grew up watching the cricket on our screens every year,” Woodbridge said.
“Hosting something as iconic as The Ashes is a real privilege, and I can’t wait to work with some of the legends of Aussie cricket.”
And it wasn’t all negative, with many praising Woodbridge’s work.
Does excellence in playing one sport prevent you from working in the media in another?— Quentin Hull (@QuentinHull) August 1, 2019
I’ve worked with Todd Woodbridge (on tennis & golf tournaments) & he is a very good media professional.
He’s earned his right to forge a new career beyond his days as an athlete.
Interesting to see people getting cranky about Todd Woodbridge hosting the Ashes coverage. Gives you some idea what it's been like having footballers and swimmers host tennis coverage for the last 20 years.— Tim Callanan (@MrTimCallanan) August 1, 2019
FWIW I think Todd Woodbridge is doing a very good job. Don’t @ me pls. Thanks #ashes2019— Clint Thomas (@ClintLThomas) August 1, 2019