The England team, with Brearley's exit in 1980, was never truly settled throughout the 1980s, which will probably be remembered as a low point for the team. While some of the great players like Botham, Gooch and Gower had fine careers, the team seldom succeeded in beating good opposition throughout the decade and did not score a home Test victory (except against minnows Sri Lanka) between September 1985 and July 1990.
Another reason for their poor performances were the demands of County Cricket teams on their players, meaning that England could rarely field a full-strength team on their tours. This eventually led to the ECB taking over from the MCC as the governing body of England and the implementation of central contracts. 1992 also saw Scotland sever ties with the England and Wales team, and begin to compete as the Scotland national team.
More selectorial problems abounded during Atherton's reign as new chairman of selectors and coach Ray Illingworth (then into his 60s) assumed almost sole responsibility for the team off the field. The youth policy which had seen England emerge from the West Indies tour of 1993–94 with some credit (though losing to a seasoned Windies team) was abandoned and players such as Gatting and Gooch were persisted with when well into their 30s and 40s. England continued to do well at home against weaker opponents such as India, New Zealand and a West Indies side beginning to fade but struggled badly against improving sides like Pakistan and South Africa. Atherton had offered his resignation after losing the 1997 Ashes series 3–2 having been 1–0 up after two matches – eventually to resign one series later in early 1998. England, looking for talent, went through a whole raft of new players during this period, such as Ronnie Irani, Adam Hollioake, Craig White, Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash. At this time, there were two main problems:
After finishing as runners-up in the ICC Champions Trophy, England faced Australia in back-to-back Ashes series. A 3–0 home win secured England the urn for the fourth time in five series. However, in the return series, they found themselves utterly demolished in a 5–0 defeat, their second Ashes whitewash in under a decade. Their misery was compounded by batsman Jonathan Trott leaving the tour early due to a stress-related illness and the mid-series retirement of spinner Graeme Swann. Following the tour, head coach Flower resigned his post while Pietersen was dropped indefinitely from the England team. Flower was replaced by his predecessor, Moores, but he was sacked for a second time after a string of disappointing results including failing to advance from the group stage at the 2015 World Cup. He was replaced by Australian Trevor Bayliss who oversaw an upturn of form in the ODI side, including series victories against New Zealand and Pakistan. In the Test arena, England reclaimed the Ashes 3–2 in the summer of 2015.
In August 2016, Pakistan achieved the number 1 ranking in test cricket for the first time since 1988, after Sri Lanka whitewashed Australia. Pakistan displaced India as number 1 after rain caused the final test match between India and West Indies to end in a draw. Pakistan became the 1st Asian team and 2nd team overall to win a day-night test match, which was against the West Indies in Dubai.
As of 3 December 2019, England have played 1,018 Test matches, winning 368 and losing 303 (with 347 draws). In Test series against Australia, England play for The Ashes, one of the most famous trophies in all of sport, and they have won the urn on 32 occasions. England have also played 743 ODIs, winning 374. They have appeared in the final of the Cricket World Cup four times, winning once in 2019; they have also finished as runners-up in two ICC Champions Trophies (2004 and 2013). England have played 109 T20Is, winning 54. They won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2010, and were runners-up in 2016.
Terrorism in Pakistan has sometimes prevented foreign teams from visiting Pakistan, with no test cricket having taken place in the country since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team. Since 2009, their home matches have been mostly held in the United Arab Emirates. However, due to a decrease in terrorism in Pakistan over the past few years, as well as an increase in security, some teams have toured Pakistan since 2015. These teams include Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, and an ICC World XI. In addition, the Pakistan Super League has seen games hosted in Pakistan.
Pakistan's first Test match was played in Delhi in October 1952 as part of a five Test series. They lost the first test by an innings and 70 runs. India scored 372 runs in their first innings and Pakistan managed 302 runs in combined both innings. However, it just took seven days to turn things around for the Pakistani's. In second Test match, Pakistan blew India away for 106 before Pakistan, with the help of Hanif Mohammad's 124, scored 331 in their first innings, taking a lead of 225. India were bowled out for 182, giving Pakistan a win by an innings and 43 runs. It was Fazal Mahmood's game as he took 12/94. India won the next match by 10 wickets before the final two test went draw, which resulted India winning series 2–1.
79.1 OUT! Caught. Josh Hazlewood to Mohammad Rizwan. Short, outside off stump on the back foot cutting, mis-timed in the air uncontrolled to deep backward point, by Lyon. Can you believe it? Rizwan has battled so hard to get to 95 but he has given his wicket away. The fielder in the deep has not had to move a muscle as Rizwan picked him out beautifully. That could be the game done and dusted.
England drew the 1938 Ashes, meaning Australia retained the urn. England went into the final match of the series at The Oval 1–0 down, but won the final game by an innings and 579 runs. Len Hutton made the highest ever Test score by an Englishman, making 364 in England first innings to help them reach 903, their highest ever score against Australia.