Pakistan cricket fans will want to watch their team in action streaming live online, legally and for free, as the Men in Green open a One Day International series in New Zealand in search of redemption after dropping two of three in the T20 series that opened the Pakistan limited-overs cricket tour. The T20 series saw Pakistan great Shahid Afridi likely set foot on a New Zealand cricket ground for the final time, as 30-year-old veteran Azhar Ali takes over as captain of the ODI side
Now the Pakistan and New Zealand cricket teams will play three ODI matches over seven days.
Afridi exits as one of the most successful visiting cricketers to play in New Zealand. The 35-yer-old possesses a 140 strike rate in ODI matches, the highest of any batsman to play more than five innings. His incredible 197 strike rate in T20 matches is the best of any batsman with three innings in New Zealand in the short format.
“Maybe this will be my last tour,” Afridi said during the T20 series. “I’ve always tryed to play a major role, striving to perform with both bat and ball.”
Afridi is not included in the ODI side, however.
Fast bowlers Rahat Ali and seven-foot-tall Mohammad Irfan join the Pakistan side for the three-match ODI set.
One player who remains from the T20 squad is 23-year-old controversial fast bowler Mohammad Amir, who made his return to international cricket after a five-year ban for taking part in a spot-fixing scheme during a Pakistan tour of England. In fact, not only was Amir exiled from cricket, he spent three months in a British prison.
Azhar Ali, along with several of his Pakistan teammates, has previously said that he would refuse to play on the same team as Amir, even boycotting the Pakistan training sessions prior to the New Zealand tour in protest of Amir’s presence on the team.
But Ali has now softened that stance.
“We have moved on. We are united and looking forward to the challenge,” Ali said on Sunday. “Whatever my stance was, my job is to lead and keep harmony in the dressing room. (Amir) bowled well in the T20s. My job is to try to get the best out of him.”
Watch highlights of the final T20 New Zealand-Pakistan match in the video below.
To find out how to watch the first New Zealand vs. Pakistan ODI match of the three-game series live online for free and legally, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. The match is scheduled to get underway at 11 a.m. on Monday, January 25, at Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand.
But with the time difference, that start time for United States cricket viewers will be 5 p.m. Eastern Time on Sunday, January 24, 2 p.m. Pacific.
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New Zealand expect the return of their absent captain in the ODI series as well. Brendon McCullum is expected to return to the side after a back injury that saw him miss the entire T20 series. But whether the 34-year-old veteran of 256 ODI matches for the Black Caps will rejoin the team before the third and final match of the trilogy remains unclear.
Over the past 14 months, New Zealand have seen considerably more success than Pakistan in the 50-overs format of cricket, compiling a 17-8 record, including victories in all of their ICC World Cup matches last year, until they finally fell to Australia in the final.
Pakistan was eliminated in the quarterfinal of the World Cup by Australia, and have put together a 14-14 record in ODI competition going back to December if 2014.
To watch the opening match of the three-game New Zealand vs Pakistan ODI cricket match from Westpac Stadium in Wellington, New Zealand, live online for free and legally, go to ESPN3, the online-only channel in the ESPN network, which will carry the game live at this link. ESPN3 will also carry all three ODI matches on the Pakistan tour of New Zealand, a tour consisting only of limited-overs format matches. The streaming ESPN3 sports channel is free to customers of most major internet service providers and many minor ISPs as well. For a full list, check this link.
[Featured Photo by Martin Hunter/Getty Images]