A New Zealand cricket team missing four of its top stars visits Zimbabwe Sunday for the first of three One Day International matches — games that New Zealand hopes will introduce their next generation of stars to the rigors of international competition, as they will also tour South Africa for three ODI matches and a pair of T20 games as well.
New Zealand, who last played as a team more than a month ago when they wrapped up a tour of England that saw the World Cup finalists drop a five-game ODI series by a 3-2 tally, have left Captain Brendan McCullum and seamer Tim Southee at home for the Africa trip. The pair are being rested after a taxing five months that saw the World Cup and the England tour wrapped around an Indian Premier League season in which both stars figured prominently.
All-rounder Corey Anderson and left-arm quick Trent Boult were both forced to drop out of the England series with injuries they two are still nursing, keeping them out of the Zimbabwe trip as well.
To watch the New Zealand vs. Zimbabwe First ODI live online, see the streaming links below in this article. The 50-overs match is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. local time on Sunday, August 2, at Harare Sports Club in Zimbabwe's capital city of Harare. In the United States, viewers should log on to watch live online at 3 a.m. Eastern Time, midnight Pacific.
New Zealand for the first time will wear shirts that say not "New Zealand," but "Aotearoa," the Maori name for the country. In the absence of Brendan McCullum, Kane Williamson -- generally seen as McCullum's eventual successor -- will captain the Black Caps.
Since defeating the United Arab Emirates in their World Cup opener back on February 18, Zimbabwe have lost 11 straight ODI matches, including two on their historic visit to Pakistan in May. But they did stun India by 10 runs in a T20 match less than two weeks ago, giving the team a needed confidence boost.
Can a New Zealand side missing four top players get its African tour off to a winning start? Or will Zimbabwe carry on the momentum it gained from their shock victory over India in their most recent match? To find out, watch the Zimbabwe vs. New Zealand cricket First ODI match live online in the United States using one of several options. 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, will carry a United States feed of the match.
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.
The India-based TEN Sports network provides a streaming link here for the First Zimbabwe vs. New Zealand ODI. Viewers with access to Pakistan internet sites can watch the Zimbabwe vs. New Zealand First ODI match live online via Geo Super TV by clicking here, while CricHD will stream the Zimbabwe vs. New Zealand game live online at this site.
[Image: Phil Walter/Getty Images]