Pakistan and England cricket fans can watch live online as the eight-week bilateral series between the two nations enters its final — and most explosive — phase Thursday with the first of three T20 International matches that will see the teams battling for supremacy just four months in advance of the 2016 T20 World Cup, which opens March 11, 2016 in India.
Of course, whether Pakistan even takes part in the sixth ICC World T20 championship tournament is still up in the air. In October Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Shaharyar Khan said that his country would boycott the tournament if the planned India vs. Pakistan bilateral series did not go ahead as planned next year.
India refuse to play the bilateral Pakistan series — perhaps the most heated international rivalry in cricket or any world sport — in the United Arab Emirates, which Pakistan has adopted as its home grounds since a 2009 terrorist incident caused security concerns to keep other countries from playing in Pakistan.
In a new development Wednesday, an agreement appears to be in the works to play the India vs. Pakistan matches in Sri Lanka as well as in England — an agreement which if it is finalized would potentially clear the way for Pakistan to compete in the 2016 World T20 in India.
Either way, Pakistan, who have played more T20 matches than any other country since international competition in the shortest, fastest-paced format of cricket began, must play three more against England, who have played a mere three T20 matches in the past 14 months.
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England did play an unofficial T20 warm-up match on Monday against the United Arab Emirates, winning by 79 runs. Highlights of that match can be viewed in the video above, on this page.
But while England has won the three games, it has played in the short format since September of last year — against Australia, New Zealand and India — Pakistan has played 11 T20I matches in 2015 alone, winning their last six straight, sweeping home and away two-game sets against Zimbabwe, and another pair in Sri Lanka.
To find out how to watch the first Pakistan vs. England T20 International match live online, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. The action is scheduled to get underway at Dubai International Cricket Stadium in Dubai, United Arab Emirates at 8 p.m. local time on Thursday, November 26. That makes the game a Thanksgiving morning special for United States fans, with start times of 11 a.m. Eastern Time, 8 a.m. Pacific.
For Pakistan, the first T20I will see the return of crowd favorite Shahid "Boom Boom" Afridi. In fact, the legendary 35-year-old all-rounder — despite having retired from other formats of international cricket — will captain the T20 side.
While England have played fewer T20 International matches since the last World T20 in 2014 than any other cricket-playing nation except Papua New Guinea, they actually lead the all-time T20 series against Pakistan, winning seven out of 10.
The best way to watch the first Pakistan vs. England cricket T20 International match of the three-match series 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 Pakistani internet sites can watch the Pakistan vs. England T20Icricket match line online via Geo Super TV by clicking here.
[Featured Photo By Gareth Copley/Getty Images]