The 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the second-most prestigious international championship in the sport of cricket — despite the event's checkered past — gets underway Thursday as England take on Bangladesh in a match that will live stream as the two nations meet again after a dramatic confrontation two years ago in the Cricket World Cup.
That group stage game in 2015 marked turning points for both teams. With a dramatic 15-run win, Bangladesh moved on the World Cup knockout round for the first time and the Tigers announced themselves as a formidable cricketing power, especially in the One Day International format.
For England, the loss was a new low, crashing out of the World Cup at the group stage. But the humiliation was also a call to arms, and England adopted a new aggressive style of play that has resulted in victories in six of their last seven ODI series — and a place as the recognized, if narrow favorites in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy competition.
This time, however, the iconic Bangladesh Captain Mashrafe Mortaza is trying to manage the expectations of Bangladesh fans, remaining optimistic but realistic about his team's chances.
"People think that this time we will take the Champions Trophy home," he said at a Wednesday press conference, referring to fans back in his cricket-crazy home country.
"The thing is that we all know that on a given day, we can beat anybody.... There will be a lot of pressure, but I think we can cope up. Also, if you go back to the England side, I think they also feel more pressure than us, because they want the trophy."
To find out how to watch a live stream of the England vs. Bangladesh 2017 ICC Champions Trophy opening cricket match, see the streaming information at the bottom of this article. First ball is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. British Summer Time at the Kia Oval in London, England, on Thursday, June 1. That start time in Bangladesh will be 3:30 p.m. Bangladesh Standard Time, while in India the live stream gets underway at 3 p.m. India Standard Time.
Cricket fans in the United States will need to get up early, or stay up late, to watch the England vs. Bangladesh match stream live. The game will begin at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2:30 a.m. Pacific.
Read the Inquisitr preview of the 2017 Champions Trophy by visiting this link.
Watch a preview of the England vs. Bangladesh 2017 Champions Trophy opener in the video below, courtesy of CricBuzz.
For England, Jonny Bairstow is expected to sit out in favor of Jason Roy, while all-rounder Ben Stokes may be confined to batting only, due to a knee injury.
Spinner Sunzamul Islam and seamer Taskin Ahmed for Bangladesh will likely sit while Rubel Hossain and Mehedi Hasan take their spots in the bowling rotation.
Here are the expected teams for Thursday's Champions Trophy opener.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Joe Root, 4 Eoin Morgan (captain), 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Adil Rashid, 9 Chris Woakes, 10 Liam Plunkett, 11 Mark Wood.
Bangladesh: 1 Tamim Iqbal, 2 Soumya Sarkar, 3 Sabbir Rahman, 4 Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), 5 Mahmudullah, 6 Shakib Al Hasan, 7 Mosaddek Hossain, 8 Mehedi Hasan, 9 Mashrafe Mortaza (captain), 10 Rubel Hossain, 11 Mustafizur Rahman.
Can Bangladesh repeat their landmark victory that propelled them into the Cricket World Cup knockout round for the first time, by pulling off a surprise upset of England in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy opening match? Or will the hosts live up to their tournament-favorite billing by making a statement against the longshot Tigers?
To find out, watch a live stream of the England vs. Bangladesh 2017 Champions Trophy opener from the 24,500-seat Kia Oval cricket ground in Kennington, London, England, on Thursday, using one of the following live stream options.
Tigers fans in their home country of Bangladesh can watch a live stream via Gazi TV at this link — but the stream can be viewed only inside the borders of Bangladesh.
In the United States, the best way to watch a live stream as the Bangladesh Tigers open what promises to be one of the best ODI series of the year, against visiting England, at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka, Bangladesh, 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.
There are legal ways to watch cricket on Willow TV for free. Certain promotional offers make it possible to watch the all-cricket network, including the entire Bangladesh vs. England three-ODI cricket series, for a limited period of time, such as the offer at this link.
But the most reliable method to live stream the match in the United States is to use the week-long free trial of Sling TV's International Sports Package, which includes Willow TV and the England vs. Bangladesh 2017 ICC Champions Trophy cricket Match One on Thursday. Information on how to sign up for the free and legal Sling TV offer can be found by clicking on this link.
In the United Kingdom, a live stream of Bangladesh vs. England cricket will be available to Sky Sports subscribers using the Sky Go streaming service, which can be accessed at this link.
Finally, in India, Hotstar Sports will live stream the England vs. Bangladesh Champions Trophy opener at this link, offering both a simultaneous live stream for subscribers and a free stream on a five-minute time delay.
[Featured Image by Gareth Copley/Getty Images]