India cricket fans can watch the future stars of their national cricket team live online as the India Under-19 side opens its quest for a record fourth ICC U19 Cricket World Cup trophy, facing Ireland Thursday morning in Bangladesh — Wednesday night in United States time zones — acutely aware that their country expects them to come home with the Cup in the bi-annual tournament after winning it just four years ago in Australia.
"There's been a four-year gap so people are expecting that from me," said India U19 Captain Ishan Kishan before his team departed for Bangladesh last week.
"It is not that big of a pressure on me but I am really enjoying this moment. Strength of my team is that almost every batsman can bowl. We have a pace bowling attack that's good. We have a good fielding unit. Our batting goes till No 8, which is a plus point. It will help us in the matches."Of the 10 U19 Cricket World Cup competitions played so far, India have captured the trophy three times. Only Australia have won the tournament as often. But Australia have no chance of setting the record with a fourth title this time around for the simple reason that the team is not taking part in the 2016 U19 World Cup.
Australia withdrew from the U19 World Cup early in January, citing "safety and security" issues in Bangladesh. But none of the other 14 qualifying teams, plus Bangladesh itself, followed the Australian lead and Ireland — as the highest-ranking team to miss qualification — quickly accepted an invitation to round out the 16-nation field by taking the vacated Australian spot.
But the Ireland youth cricket squad will have their hands full right away in their opening match when they must face tournament favorites India.
Let's support #IndiaU19BootCamp team who is set to play #ICCU19WorldCup in #Bangladesh- https://t.co/MF4AGOedZu pic.twitter.com/O0A7vqnZHSDefending champion South Africa got off to a slow start in the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup opener on Wednesday, falling to host Bangladesh by 43 runs, failing even to top the double century mark after the Young Tigers posted a first innings total of 240.
— Indiatimes (@indiatimes) January 22, 2016
Watch highlights of the Bangladesh vs. South Africa match in the video below, courtesy of Willow TV.
To find out how to watch the India vs. Ireland ICC U19 Cricket World Cup match live online, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. The game is scheduled to get underway at 9 a.m. India Standard Time at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, Bangladesh on Thursday morning, January 28.
But cricket fans in the United States will watch the match live online on Wednesday evening, January 27, starting at 10 p.m. Eastern Time, 7 p.m. Pacific.
The U19 World Cup has been a fertile breeding ground for India cricket stars — as it has for cricketers in other countries. Virat Kohli captained the India side to a trophy in 2008, and Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Ravindra Jadeja, and Axar Patel have all featured as teenagers in the tournament.
The India vs Ireland match is one of four matches scheduled for Thursday morning, but the only one televised, as well as streamed to watch live online. All of the India matches will be available live online.
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Broadcaster Star Sports in India will stream the first India match of the 2016 Under-19 Cricket World Cup, India vs. Ireland, from Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Bangladesh at this link, and the India-based site CrichHD will offer a stream at this link. The most reliable way to watch the India vs. Ireland U19 Cricket World Cup opener for both teams live online in the United States is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link, as well as on the Willow app for mobile devices or on Willow TV's own site, accessible by clicking here with a monthly subscription fee.
There are legal ways to watch Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including the India vs. Ireland U19 Cricket World Cup match, and daily matches to follow, for a limited period of time, such as the offer at this link. The best bet would be the one-month free trial of Sling TV's International Sports Package, which includes Willow. Information on that deal can be found at this link.
[Featured Photo By Matt Roberts / Getty Images]