The Under-19 Cricket World Cup Final is here and fans of India and West Indies can watch a live online stream of the big match pitting the two traditional world cricket powers against each other in a final for the first time in any level of the game since 1983.
That was the year that India stopped the then-dominant West Indies senior squad from winning the Cricket World Cup for a third consecutive time, after the Windies captured the trophy in both of the first two World Cup competitions.
Since then, West Indies cricket has slumped. The senior team has not returned to a World Cup Final, while the U19 squad has appeared in only one until now, losing to Pakistan in 2004.
The success of the India U19 cricket program, on the other hand, has been almost unmatched, appearing in a four U19 Cricket World Cup Finals and winning three, which ties them with Australia. A victory over West Indies on Sunday would put India alone at the top with a history-making fourth championship.
Shimron Hetmyer and Ishan Kishan pose with the #U19CWC Trophy ahead of tomorrow's final.Who starts favourites? pic.twitter.com/mIawjyMzqwIt should be noted, however, that Australia, who lost to India in the 2012 U19 Final, chose not to participate in the 2016 Cup tournament, citing security fears in the host country of Bangladesh.
— Circle of Cricket (@circleofcricket) February 13, 2016
But that hardly matters to West Indies, who see a chance to rekindle the Caribbean Island nations' former cricket glory days. The team has surprised cricket fans and experts worldwide by streaking into the Final after a slow start, dropping their very first match of the 2016 competition to England by 61 runs. But group stage wins over Fiji and Zimbabwe followed by quarterfinal and semifinal victories over favored Pakistan and Bangladesh put the Windies within one win of a trophy.
To see highlights of the West Indies' hard-fought semifinal win over Bangladesh, check out the video below, courtesy of Willow TV.
Highlights of India's destruction of Sri Lanka in their semifinal can be viewed in the Willow TV video below.
To find out how to watch the live stream of India vs. West Indies 2016 U19 Cricket World Cup Final, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. The match is set to get underway at 9 a.m. India Standard Time at Sher-e Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Sunday, February 14.
For United States-based cricket fans, that start time will be 10 p.m. Eastern Time on the previous night, Saturday, February 13 — 7 p.m. Pacific Time.
West Indies feature a powerful fast bowling corps keyed by opening pair Chemar Holder and Alzarri Joseph. But India Captain Ishan Kishan says that his team is not worried about facing the Caribbean pace attack.
"Most of us who are batting in the top order play domestic cricket back in India. We face senior fast bowlers in first-class cricket," Kishan said Saturday. "So, it's not a problem, but it is about how we plan to tackle them and how we execute it on the field."
India, in fact, features six players in its starting XI who have already played at the senior level, including leading batsman Sarfaraz Khan who plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the India Premier League. But none of that fazes the West Indies players, according to their captain, Shimron Hetmyer.
"We are not worried too much if they have played international cricket or IPL or how much exposure they have had so far," Hetmyer said. "We just stick to our plans and hit our lengths as many times as possible. People that do play pace well also get out by getting bogged down."
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India-based site CrichHD will offer a stream of the match at this link. But the most reliable way to watch the India vs. Sri Lanka U19 Cricket World Cup first semifinal match 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. Sri Lanka U19 Cricket World Cup first semifinal, 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 the Sling TV option can be found at this link.
[Photo by Pal Pillai / Getty Images]