Cricket fans can watch history live online as Zimbabwe travels to Pakistan for the first official international cricket match in the strife-torn country since 2009, when terrorists attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lanka national cricket team as it traveled to a Test Match at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.
Six Pakistan police officers were killed in the gun battle with the terrorist assailants, and seven members of the Sri Lanka team were hurt in the ambush. Since then, no Test playing nation would set foot in Pakistan, forcing that country to play its home matches in the United Arab Emirates.
Zimbabwe, though it is the 10th-ranked of the 10 nations authorized to play Test Matches by the International Cricket Council, will not actually play a Test in its five-match series in Pakistan. All of the games will be played at that same Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore — starting with Friday's first of two T20 International matches on the tour.
To find out how to watch Friday's Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan historic T20 cricket match in live online streaming video, see the information at the bottom of this article. Friday's T20 International begins at 7 p.m. in Pakistan, which is 10 a.m. United States Eastern Time, 7 a.m. Pacific.
The two T20 contests will be followed by three 50-over One Day International matches.
The two nations last met in Australia on March 1 in the Cricket World Cup. In that 50-over match, Pakistan batted first and posted an impressive 235/7, but then barely held off a spirited chase by Zimbabwe, who ended up at 215 all out.
Pakistan cricket fans are starved to see their national sport played live in their own country on an international level. Tickets for both T20 matches — Friday's contest and the follow-up on Sunday — were gobbled up by eager fans in just a matter of hours.
"While the series may not seem big on paper due to the opposition not being formidable, its importance is no less than the 1996 world cup final which was held at the same stadium," said Lahore-based cricket fan Syed Ali Akbar Abbas Rizvi, to the English-language newspaper Pakistan Today.
A level of security rarely seen at a sporting event will be in place at Friday's T20 match. The Zimbabwe cricketers are designated as official guests of the state, meaning they are given the same high level of protection as foreign leaders in Pakistan.
India-based website CricHD will stream the historic First T20 International, but viewers there will have to put up with numerous advertisements that often cause slowdowns when viewing online. The best way to watch the Zimbabwe vs. Pakistan cricket T20 match live online in the United States is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link with a monthly subscription fee, as well as on Willow TV's own site, accessible by clicking here.
Some promotional offers make it possible to watch Willow TV legally online free for a limited period of time, such as the offer at this link — or the one-month free trial of Sling TV's International Sports Package, which includes the all-cricket channel. Information on that deal can be found at this link.
Viewers with access to Pakistan internet sites can watch the match line online via Geo Super TV by clicking here.
[Image: Chris Hyde/Getty Images]