The ICC Cricket World Cup Final is set, with Australia facing New Zealand in a Trans-Tasman Sea showdown. Fans can catch all of the drama live online, which will be the best way to watch what is certain to be a nail-biting match — with the world championship of one-day cricket on the line.
Info on how to watch the monumental Australia Vs. New Zealand Cricket World Cup Final live online can be found below. The match starts Sunday afternoon in Melbourne, Australia — but Saturday night in United States time zones.
Australia has proven itself the dominant powerhouse of one-day international cricket — going for its fifth World Cup trophy in just the 11th tournament since the World Cup was inaugurated in 1975.
New Zealand, on the other hand, have always played the proverbial bridesmaids, appearing in seven World Cup semifinals but never a final — until now.
Both nations were placed in Pool A of the World Cup group stages and, on February 28, faced each other in the 20th match of the 2015 tournament. The Black Caps won that match by a single wicket with 161 balls remaining after Australia set a low target of just 152 runs at Auckland’s Eden Park.
But the return match, played for far higher stakes, takes place at Melbourne Cricket Ground and will be the first match of the tournament outside of the friendly confines of their home country for New Zealand — where they enjoyed not only unprecedented crowd support in a nation where rugby rules the sporting roost, but also the generally cozier dimensions of their own grounds.
That all changes when they hop across the Tasman Sea for Sunday’s Final.
“They’re going to have to change the way they hit the ball. Let’s be honest, the size of Eden Park is ridiculous. It shouldn’t be a cricket ground. If you can half throw it from the long off boundary to the opposite end it’s too small,” said former Australia opening batsman Matthew Hayden on Thursday.
During this year’s World Cup, an average of fewer than five sixes per match were hit at the MCG. Compare that to the 16 sixes that left Eden Park in New Zealand’s semifinal defeat of South Africa — not to mention an incredible 30 sixes smashed at Wellington Regional Stadium in the Black Caps’ quarterfinal win over West Indies.
New Zealand will also be forced to deal with the famously boisterous Australian fans, who are expected to turn out in record numbers Sunday.
The largest crowd ever to turn out at a cricket match at MCG was a staggering 91,112 for the first day of the Boxing Day Test in 2013, which was also an Ashes match against England.
In 1992, the MCG drew 87,182 for a World Cup Final that did not even involve Australia, as Pakistan defeated England. But the crowd Sunday could top both of those marks.
ESPN Cricket will stream the Australia vs. New Zealand World Cup Final live online for a one-time fee of $19.99. Of course, viewers who have already paid an earlier subscription fee can watch the match via ESPN Cricket at this link.
First ball bowled is set for 2:30 pm March 29 in Melbourne. That’s 11:30 pm United States Eastern Time on March 28. Check back to this page at the Australia vs. New Zealand ICC Cricket World Cup Final match draws closer, when more links to live online video will be added.
[Image: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images]