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.
Gower took over as skipper in 1984 and led the team to a 2–1 victory over India. They went on to win the 1985 Ashes 3–1, although after this came a poor run of form. Defeat to the West Indies dented the team's confidence, and they went on to lose to India 2–0. In 1986, Micky Stewart was appointed the first full-time England coach. England beat New Zealand, but there was little hope of them retaining the Ashes in 1986–87. However, despite being described as a team that 'can't bat, can't bowl and can't field', they went on to win the series 2–1.
The first recorded incidence of a team with a claim to represent England comes from 9 July 1739 when an "All-England" team, which consisted of 11 gentlemen from any part of England exclusive of Kent, played against "the Unconquerable County" of Kent and lost by a margin of "very few notches". Such matches were repeated on numerous occasions for the best part of a century.
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England's first match after the war was in the 1920–21 season against Australia. Still feeling the effects of the war England went down to a series of crushing defeats and suffered their first whitewash losing the series 5–0. Six Australians scored hundreds while Mailey spun out 36 English batsmen. Things were no better in the next few Ashes series losing the 1921 Ashes series 3–0 and the 1924–25 Ashes 4–1. England's fortunes were to change in 1926 as they regained the Ashes and were a formidable team during this period dispatching Australia 4–1 in the 1928–29 Ashes tour.