Channel 4 showing the India v England Tests* and Mambo No.5 – Mop-up of the day

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We’re very excited to discover what level of certainty we’ll hit today with regards to Channel 4 broadcasting the India v England series.

At the time of writing, we’re still at “it is understood that” with no official word from the broadcaster and the unit of measurement for the countdown about to shift from days to hours.

Lizzy Ammon reported in The Times that Rishi Persad would be presenting. Going off how he performed for a fortnight back in 2007, he’s okay.

We saw another report that Alastair Cook would be involved and Nick Knight also got a mention in the comments of this website yesterday. We haven’t felt compelled to google that one yet.

The other big issue surrounds the use or non-use of Lou Bega’s Mambo No.5 as the theme tune.

Mambo No.5 is a funny one in that it is a song that is very much of its time. This quality made it a terrible choice when Channel 4 last broadcast cricket because you want something timeless rather than a song that was number one in most countries on Earth only the other day.

But now, almost 16 years later, that very same quality means it perfectly captures a moment. Some people feel similarly about it now to Soul Limbo, the tune used by the BBC.

Will Channel 4 use Mambo No.5 for their (very probably) upcoming coverage? Well they didn’t use it during the World Cup. But then maybe World Cups are different.

The next episode of The Ridiculous Ashes is out

That’s the podcast we do with Dan Liebke if you don’t know. It looks at ridiculous things that happened during Ashes series. It’s not a complicated title.

We’ve not listened back to this latest episode about the fifth (but not final) Test of the 1997 Ashes this morning, but we do remember that it features Shane Warne’s definitive off field moment.

You can find all five episodes here.

You may also wish to get our articles by email ahead of this India v England series. You can do that here.


Mike Gatting wasn't receiving the King Cricket email when he dropped that ludicrously easy chance against India in 1993.


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  1. It’s “Bega”, not “Vega”.

    Source: Am german, couldn’t escape that stupid track around 1999.

    1. That’s from trying to write this on our phone (at 4am). Will correct, cheers.

      Apologies if some of the links are wrong as well. Doing those was a real ordeal.

      1. Oh and apologies if the image is too small on a desktop as well. Pretty confident it is, but can’t check.

      2. I know you don’t do requests, but please stop apologising, KC. It’s disconcerting from such a normally-unapologetic source.

        While on the subject of Lou Bega’s Mambo No 5, I heard it on the radio a year or so ago and was surprised at how slow and tame it sounded. In my mind’s ear the sound was brighter and the beat at least 20 bpms faster than the reality. Contrast with Soul Limbo, which I suppose never completely went away, as I’m pretty sure I could replicate the the beat accurately with spoons on my desk.

      3. Sorry Ged, I didn’t quite catch your reply to KC. Did you say you can replicate the beat of Soul Limbo while spooning a desk? Impressive.

    2. Cricket sites need more German comment-posters. There’s got to be a story involved here, does it involve Russian chess grandmasters or is it more esoteric than that?

      1. Ich weiß es wirklich nicht. Ich würde vorschlagen, dass es vielleicht Großmeister sind, aber ich kann es nicht sagen.

  2. Genuinely excited about this series. Hope the Channel 4 news is true, because I’m not sure I can face TalkSport’s coverage on the wireless. All aboard the banter bus!

      1. I’ve never listened to TS but have to admit I’m considering it this series. For us newbies, what is the TalkSport ‘vibe’ to cricket commentary? Will it be a significant adjustment for a long-ish-term TMS listener? Who plays the Vaughan role of absolute bellend?

      2. My frustration with TS is that their is too much chat and not enough describing the play itself. You listen to radio commentary to have the game described but the tv guys like mark nicholas haven’t altered their style much from when theyre commentating on tv and its almost like they forget you can’t see it. Mark Butcher was excellent though.

        TMS would be improved immeasurably by Vaughan’s removal. I also think that Aggers’ day is probably done.

  3. Mambo No. 5 was released in 1998, so was already pretty old when it was used for the 2005 Ashes. The verses are very dated but the trumpet riff in the middle which was the main filler music for C4 coverage that summer is pretty timeless and works well – summery, irreverent, classic.

    1. Yeah but 1999 was when Channel 4 started broadcasting cricket and using the tune.

      Our point is it seemed like a tremendously lazy choice back then but it’s a decision that’s seemingly improved with age.

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