Central contracts were installed – reducing players workloads – and following the arrival of Zimbabwean coach Duncan Fletcher, England thrashed the fallen West Indies 3–1. England's results in Asia improved that winter with series wins against both Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Hussain's side had a far harder edge to it, avoiding the anticipated "Greenwash" in the 2001 Ashes series against the all-powerful Australian team. The nucleus the side was slowly coming together as players such as Hussain himself, Graham Thorpe, Darren Gough and Ashley Giles began to be regularly selected. By 2003 though, having endured another Ashes drubbing as well as another first-round exit from the World Cup, Hussain resigned as captain after one Test against South Africa.
Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, who had been the mainstays of the Pakistani batting line-up, announced their retirements from Test cricket (the only format they played at that time) at the completion of the West Indies tour 2017. Pakistan won the T20I series 3–1 and the ODI series 2–1 in the same tour under the captaincy of Sarfaraz Ahmed. In his final Test series, Misbah made history by being the first Pakistani captain to win an away Test series against West Indies in West Indies. Sarfaraz Ahmed was announced as Misbah's successor. In his first series against Sri Lanka, who toured UAE, Pakistan lost both Test matches. It was first time in 10 years that Pakistan lost their home series, the first time they lost was against the Australian team and the first time in the UAE ever since it became Pakistan's adoptive home.
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The team is considered a strong but unpredictable team. Traditionally Pakistani cricket has been composed of talented players but is alleged to display limited discipline on occasion, making their performance inconsistent at times. In particular, the India-Pakistan cricket rivalry is usually emotionally charged and can provide for intriguing contests, as talented teams and players from both sides of the border seek to elevate their game to new levels. Pakistan team contests with India in the Cricket World Cup have resulted in packed stadiums and highly charged atmospheres. The team is well supported at home and abroad, especially in the United Kingdom where British Pakistanis have formed a fan-club called the "Stani Army". Members of the club show up to matches across the country and are known to provide raucous support. The Stani Army also takes part in charity initiatives for underprivileged Pakistanis, including annual friendly cricket matches against British Indian members of the similar "Bharat Army".