The summer cricket season gets underway Friday as West Indies looks to build on what so far has been a 2016 renaissance as they open a tri-nation series with a match against South Africa that will stream live from Guyana. The Windies will host the 10-match tri-series, with 50-overs World Cup Champions Australia completing the three-team field, at a trio of locations throughout the Caribbean islands.
The tri-series winds up with the final on June 26 in Barbados. But the Friday opening match, as well as the following two matches in the tournament, are played at Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana.
West Indies, South Africa look for winning start in new season: Despite the home advantage... https://t.co/pbsGCK7KZX #cricbuzz #cricketAfter qualifying for the quarterfinals of last year's World Cup — where they were knocked out by eventual World Cup runners-up New Zealand — West Indies struggled throughout 2015, being dominated in Test matches and One Day Internationals by Australia and Sri Lanka.
— Cricket News (@crick_news) June 2, 2016
But 2016 has brought brighter days for the Windies, as they won the T20 World Cup in India this spring. The West Indies women's cricket team also won the women's T20 World Cup, held concurrently with the men's tournament.
And in perhaps the best sign of a hopeful future, the West Indies Under-19 side won the U-19 Cricket World Cup, held in Bangladesh earlier in the new year.
But the XI that takes the field against South Africa on Friday afternoon will be without several of the big names in West Indies cricket, as the multi-nation Caribbean squad struggles to field an ODI team that could equal its success in the shorter, T20 format.
The last time West Indies squared off against South Africa came in the T20 World Cup in March, a match won by West Indies which put them into the semifinals of that tournament. Watch highlights of that match in the video below.
To find out how to watch a live stream of the West Indies Vs. South Africa cricket tri-nation series opening match, see the streaming links at the bottom of this article. The game gets underway at 1 p.m. Guyana Time, which is the same as United States Eastern Time, 10 a.m. Pacific, at Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana, on Friday, June 3.
Four top West Indies international superstars have been left out of the ODI side selected for the tri-nation series — Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell, and T20 World Cup winning Captain Darren Sammy.
But all-rounder Kieron Pollard and spin bowler Sunil Narine are back in the maroon kits of West Indies — for the first time since 2014 in Pollard's case.
Narine missed the T20 World Cup due to yet another period of adjusting his action after it was ruled illegal during a series against Sri Lanka late last year.
West Indies have played only three ODI matches since falling in the World Cup quarterfinals — and the Windies lost all three, in an away series against Sri Lanka.
Led by Captain A.B. de Villiers — fresh off a loss with his franchise club Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League final last Sunday — South Africa has accumulated a wealth of experience in the ODI format over the past year.
Since suffering a shock, final ball defeat in the Cricket World Cup semifinals in March of 2015, the Proteas have played 16 ODI matches, recording nine wins and seven losses against Bangladesh, New Zealand, India, and England.
The second match in the June tri-series pits West Indies against Australia, also at Providence Stadium, on Sunday.
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The most reliable way to watch the West Indies Vs. South Africa Cricket Tri-Series First ODI Match via live stream in the United States is through Willow TV, which is available via this YouTube link. Fans can also use The Willow app for mobile devices or on Willow TV's own site, accessible by clicking here with a monthly subscription fee.
There are, however, legal ways to watch the match on Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including Friday's West Indies Vs. South Africa Cricket Tri-Series First ODI match, 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. The India-based site CricHD will also carry a stream at this link.
[Featured Photo By Anthony Johnson / Getty Images]