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 Pakistan cricket team toured England from 29 July to 22 September 2010. The tour consisted of four Tests, two T20Is and five ODIs. During the Test series, Pakistan lost the first two Test by 354 runs and 9 wickets. They came back to win the third Test by 4 wickets. However, in the fourth Test, the spot-fixing took place. On the third day of the 4th Test, British newspaper News of the World published a story with allegations that an agent loosely affiliated with some of the Pakistani players (later identified as Mazhar Majeed) had accepted a £150,000 (US$232,665) bribe from undercover reporters for information that two Pakistani bowlers (Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir) would deliberately deliver no balls at specific points during the match. The third player was also caught. It was Pakistan's Test skipper Salman Butt, who was revealed to be the master mind of this case. On 1 November 2011, Asif, Amir, and Butt were found guilty for their part in the spot-fixing and were given prison sentences, ranging from six months to 30 months and now Amir played well.
England lost their first series of the new century to Australia in 1901–02 Ashes. Australia also won the 1902 series, which was memorable for exciting cricket, including Gilbert Jessop scoring a Test century in just 70 minutes. England regained the Ashes in 1904 under the captaincy of Pelham Warner. R. E. Foster scored 287 on his debut and Wilfred Rhodes took 15 wickets in a match. In 1905–06, England lost 4–1 against South Africa. England avenged the defeat in 1907, when they won the series 1–0 under the captaincy of Foster. However, they lost the 1909 Ashes series against Australia, suing 25 players in the process. England also lost to South Africa, with Jack Hobbs scoring his first of 15 centuries on the tour.
By 1999, with coach David Lloyd resigning after the World Cup exit and new captain Nasser Hussain just appointed, England hit rock bottom (literally ranked as the lowest-rated Test nation) after losing 2–1 to New Zealand in shambolic fashion. Hussain was booed on the Oval balcony as the crowd jeered "We've got the worst team in the world" to the tune of "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands".
In Super 8s stage, Pakistan lost to England, and New Zealand, only won against South Africa. They finished only behind England in Group E of Super 8s, reached to the semi-finals The semi-final for Pakistan was again with Australia, where they scored 191/6 with Umar Akmal's not out 56 runs. Australia had a good start, where Michael Hussey scored a match winning unbeaten 64 runs from just 24 balls. Australia scored 197/7 in 19.5 overs and won the match. With this match, Pakistan lost their defended World T20 title.
England struggled to match their Test form in the 2011 Cricket World Cup. Despite beating South Africa and tying with eventual winners India, England suffered shock losses to Ireland and Bangladesh before losing in the quarter-finals to Sri Lanka. However the team's excellent form in the Test match arena continued and on 13 August 2011, they became the world's top-ranked Test team after comfortably whitewashing India 4–0, their sixth consecutive series victory and eighth in the past nine series. However, this status only lasted a year – having lost 3–0 to Pakistan over the winter, England were beaten 2–0 by South Africa, who replaced them at the top of the rankings. It was their first home series loss since 2008, against the same opposition.
If the 1980s were a low point for English Test cricket, then the 1990s were only a slight improvement. The arrival of Gooch as captain in 1990 forced a move toward more professionalism and especially fitness though it took some time for old habits to die. Even in 2011, one or two successful county players have been shown up as physically unfit for international cricket. Creditable performances against India and New Zealand in 1990 were followed by a hard-fought draw against the 1991 West Indies and a strong performance in the 1992 Cricket World Cup in which the England team finished as runners-up for the second consecutive World Cup, but landmark losses against Australia in 1990–91 and especially Pakistan in 1992 showed England up badly in terms of bowling. So bad was England's bowling in 1993 that Rod Marsh described England's pace attack at one point as "pie throwers". Having lost three of the first four Tests played in England in 1993, Gooch resigned to be replaced by Michael Atherton.
When playing Test cricket, England's cricket whites feature the three lions badge on the left of the shirt and the name and logo of the sponsor NatWest on the right. English fielders may wear a navy blue cap or white sun hat with the ECB logo in the middle. Helmets are also coloured navy blue. Before 1997 the uniform sported the TCCB lion and stumps logo on the uniforms, while the helmets, jumpers and hats had the three lions emblem.
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.
The 1992 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand marked Pakistan's first World Cup victory. It is remembered for the comeback Pakistan made after losing key players such as Waqar Younis and Saeed Anwar and being led by an injured captain Imran Khan. Pakistan lost 3 of their first 5 matches and were nearly eliminated in the first round of the tournament after being bowled out for 74 runs against England, until the match was declared as a "no result" due to rain. Imran Khan told the team to play like "cornered tigers", after which Pakistan won five successive matches, including the semi-final against hosts New Zealand and the final against England.