A new season of international cricket is underway, and fans can watch live online when England travel to face Pakistan as they open an eight-week tour of the United Arab Emirates, the Pakistan cricket home away from home since 2009 when a terrorist attack led to an international cricket boycott of Pakistan.
The tour kicks off with the first match of a three-Test series, as a supremely confident England Test squad fresh off their dramatic Ashes victory over Australia over the summer know they face an even tougher test as they face a resurgent Pakistan side in the scorching heat of the Middle East.
Pakistan have played seven Test series in the UAE since being forced to make it their surrogate home territory in 2010 — and they have won all seven. Most opponents find the sluggish pitches of the UAE, which are believed to give a marked advantage to spin bowling baffling, and not only did England play just two, two-day warm-up matches in the UAE to prepare for the Test series against Pakistan, spin is an area where England have little to offer.
England's Adil Rashid will see his Test debut in the First Test, becoming only the fourth leg-spinner to play Test cricket for England since 1971. Moeen Ali will also be in the XI for Tuesday's First Test, though there has long been debate as to whether Ali qualifies as a true all-rounder, or simply a part-time bowler.
Ali will open the batting for England in the First Test, however.
"Adil's made really good strides since the West Indies tour," England Test Captain Alastair Cook said on Monday, quoted by ESPNCricinfo. "He has his one-day experience and is feeling a bit more comfortable around the group. It's a tough art to master, but he's got over 400 first-class wickets, so he can definitely bowl. I know he's looking forward to his opportunity. Yes, there can be some bad balls along the way, but he can also bowl some jaffas."
To find out how to watch Day One of the First Pakistan vs. England cricket Test Match live online, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. The First Test is scheduled to open at 10 a.m. local time at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday, October 13.
For cricket fans in the United States, the match begins at 2 a.m. on Tuesday Eastern Time, and 11 p.m. on Monday, October 12, Pacific Time.
Legendary Pakistan Captain Misbah-ul-Huq is widely believed to be planning his retirement following the Test series against England. Both sides also have injury concerns.
England fast bowler Steven Finn was "absolutely" included in the Test XI, according to Cook — until a "bone stress injury" to his left foot ruled him out at the last minute.
Leading Pakistan legspinner Yasir Shah went down during a net session this week with what Misbah described as a "back spasm," and is considered doubtful for the Test match, though he has not been ruled out.
Watch live online to see if England can carry its momentum from the summer's dramatic Ashes victory into the Test series with Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates. India-based website CricHD will stream the First Test at this link, but viewers there will have to put up with numerous advertisements that often cause slowdowns when viewing online.
The best way to watch Day One of the Pakistan vs. England cricket Frist Test 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 England vs. Pakistan Test cricket match line online via Geo Super TV by clicking here.
[Featured Image: Gareth Copley / Getty Images]