Erin Molan will be Channel 9’s host of the Women’s World Cup. Picture: Channel 9
Erin Molan will be Channel 9’s host of the Women’s World Cup. Picture: Channel 9

Molan’s huge promotion as legend axed

Channel 9 has bumped Todd Woodbridge from its cricket coverage, with network star Erin Molan to replace him as host of the Women's World Cup.

Last year Nine put Woodbridge at the helm of its men's Ashes coverage, sparking outrage on social media from fans who couldn't understand how a tennis grand slam great could head up the broadcast of cricket's biggest stage.

Nine defended its decision to put Woodbridge in the hot seat by arguing he wasn't there to provide expert opinion, but simply use his hosting skills to compere a panel featured pre-game, post-game and during breaks in play during Ashes.

 

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Erin Molan will be Channel 9’s host of the Women’s World Cup. Picture: Channel 9
Erin Molan will be Channel 9’s host of the Women’s World Cup. Picture: Channel 9

However, the network's new head of sport Brent Williams has decided to make the change and replace the nine time Wimbledon double's champion Woodbridge with NRL hosts Molan and James Bracey for the women's World Cup starting on Friday night.

The versatile Molan and Bracey - who also have no background in cricket, but helped lead Nine's tennis coverage during the summer - will alternate in the hot seat during the two and a half week tournament.

 

Former Australian tennis star Todd Woodbridge was heavily criticised for his presenting during the Ashes. Picture: Ian Currie
Former Australian tennis star Todd Woodbridge was heavily criticised for his presenting during the Ashes. Picture: Ian Currie

Test great Mark Taylor and former Australian women's international Julia Price will be featured as Nine's in-studio experts, who will cross out to the ICC's pool of commentators at the ground.

The entire women's World Cup will be broadcast on Fox Cricket, with Nine to broadcast all Australian matches as well as the semi-finals and final.

Fox Cricket will provide two of the most prominent voices for the groundbreaking World Cup, with popular commentators Mel Jones and Isa Guha to feature in the commentary pool for the tournament.

 

Isa Guha will be one of the key figures in Fox Cricket’s World Cup coverage. Picture: Nicole Garmston
Isa Guha will be one of the key figures in Fox Cricket’s World Cup coverage. Picture: Nicole Garmston

World Cup organisers are hoping to attract a crowd in excess of 90,000 for its final at the MCG on March 8.

Fox Cricket will also feature Megan Barnard and Alex Blackwell on its coverage, with Barnard a breakthrough talent on the women's and men's Big Bash this summer.

"This will be the most competitive Women's T20 World Cup ever," said Fox commentator and Cricket Australia board member, Mel Jones.

"It's no longer the big three of Australia, New Zealand and England who are now joined by India, South Africa and West Indies to make six serious contenders, all boasting their own X factor players that will entertain and take the game to the next level."