Keith Fletcher took over as captain in 1981, but England lost his first series in charge against India. Bob Willis took over as captain in 1982 and enjoyed victories over India and Pakistan, but lost the Ashes after Australia clinched the series 2–1. England hosted the World Cup in 1983 and reached the semi-finals, but their Test form remained poor, as they suffered defeats against New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies.
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The first centralised authority for the administration of cricket in Australia was established in 1892 when representatives from the state associations of New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria came together to establish the Australasian Cricket Council. However the Australasian Cricket Council was disbanded in 1898, and what is now known as Cricket Australia was established in 1905 as the "Australian Board of Control for International Cricket".[4] Before its establishment, tours by Australian teams to England were organised and funded by private groups or by the players themselves. Similarly, invitations to English teams were made by private promoters or by individual clubs, such as the Melbourne Cricket Club.[citation needed] The predecessor organisation, the Australasian Cricket Council, had existed from 1892 to 1898 but was ineffective due to a lack of funding. Its one lasting action was to establish the Sheffield Shield, the first-class cricket competition between the Australian colonies.[5]
A major controversy occurred in 2006 when the team toured England for a four-match Test series. England led the series 2-0 going into the final Test. In the first innings of that match, they were bowled out for 173 and Pakistan scored 504 in reply. In the second innings, after the dismissal of Alastair Cook for 83 off a reverse-swinging from Umar Gul, umpires Darrell Hair and Billy Doctrove called a halt to play as they adjudged Pakistan to be guilty of ball tampering. The ball was replaced and England was awarded 5 penalty runs. This event was the catalyst for the subsequent refusal to continue the match after tea by the Pakistan team. Based on the Laws of Cricket, the umpires declared Pakistan to have forfeited the game. The ICC later changed the result of the match to a draw, and subsequently reinstated the original result on 1 February 2009.
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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.
The England cricket team represents England and Wales. However, under ICC regulations,[78] players can qualify to play for a country by nationality, place of birth or residence, so (as with any national sports team) some people are eligible to play for more than one team. ECB regulations[79] state that to play for England, a player must be a British citizen, and have either been born in England or Wales, or have lived in England or Wales for three years. This has led to players who also held other nationalities becoming eligible to play for England. The qualification period for those born outside England and Wales has varied in the past, but in November 2018 the ECB announced that the period would be reduced to three years in all circumstances, in line with ICC regulations.[80]
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