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England  Cricket Team

England Cricket Team: History, Fun Facts, Match Schedule, Honors

The England men's national cricket team represents England and Wales in international cricket. Since 1997, it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). Previously it was governed by Marylebone Cricket Club. England, as a founding nation, is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status. Until the 1990s, Scottish and Irish players also played for England.

England was one of the first teams to play a Test match (15–19 March 1877). They have appeared in the final of the Cricket World Cup four times, winning the tournament in 2019. The England cricket team has rivalries with some Test-playing nations, most notably with Australia, their opponent of the famous Ashes series. The rivalries with India, South Africa and New Zealand have also gained prominence in recent times.

As of Dec. 2020, England are ranked fourth in Tests, first in ODIs and first in T20Is by the ICC. Joe Root is the current Test captain of the team while Eoin Morgan is the ODI and T20I captain.

Table Of Content


Early Years

The first record of a team claiming to represent England is from 9 July 1739, when an “All-England” team played against “The Unconquerable County” of Kent. Such matches were repeated multiple times for the next 100 years or so. In 1846, William Clarke formed the All-England Eleven. This team eventually competed with a United All-England Eleven with annual matches occurring between 1847 and 1856. These matches were arguably the most important contest of the English season.

The first overseas tour occurred in September 1859, when England toured North America. This team had six players from the All-England Eleven and six from the United All-England Eleven and was captained by George Parr. The English toured Australia in 1861–62, with this first tour organized as a commercial venture. Most matches played during tours prior to 1877 were "against odds," with the opposing team fielding more than 11 players to make for a more even contest.

James Lillywhite led a subsequent England team to Australia in 1976-77. They played with a combined Australian XI. The match started on 15 March 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground and came to be regarded as the inaugural Test match. Australia won this Test match by 45 runs. The first Test match on English soil took place in 1880. This was the first time England fielded a fully representative side, with W. G. Grace included in the team.

The Birth of the Ashes

England lost their first home series 1–0 in 1882, and the Sporting Times published an obituary on English cricket. As a result of this loss, the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England as "the quest to regain the ashes." England won that series 2–1. Captain Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail. This is how the Ashes was born as a cricket series between England and Australia. England dominated many of these early contests winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884 and 1898. During this period, England also played their first Test match against South Africa in 1889 at Port Elizabeth.

The next few years saw mixed results for England as they lost four of the eight Ashes series between 1900 and 1914. During this period, England lost their first series against South Africa in the 1905–06 season, by 4–1. England avenged that defeat in 1907, when they won the series 1–0 under the captaincy of Foster.

Pre and Post-World War I Era

England toured Australia in 1911–12 and beat the home team 4–1. The team included the likes of Rhodes, Hobbs, Frank Woolley and Sydney Barnes. This proved to be the last Ashes series before World War I. The 1912 season saw England take part in a unique experiment. A nine-Test triangular tournament involving England, South Africa and Australia was played. England went on one more tour of South Africa before the start of World War I, beating South Africa 4–0. Barnes took 49 wickets in the series.

England played their first match after the war in the 1920–21 season against Australia. It was a series of crushing defeats and their first whitewash of 5–0. Things were no better in the next few Ashes series and England lost the 1921 Ashes series 3–0 and the 1924–25 Ashes 4–1. In the 1929–30 season, England went on two concurrent tours, with one team going to New Zealand and the other to the West Indies. Despite sending two separate teams England won both tours, beating New Zealand 1–0 and the West Indies 2–1.

The Bodyline Era

The 1930 Ashes series saw a young Don Bradman score 974 runs in seven innings. He scored 254 at Lord's, 334 at Headingley and 232 at The Oval. Australia regained the Ashes, winning the series 3–1. As a result of Bradman's prolific scoring, the England captain Douglas Jardine came up with the bodyline tactic to stop Bradman. It involved bowling fast balls directly at the batsman's body. The batsman would need to defend himself, and if he hit the ball with the bat, he risked being caught by one of a large number of fielders placed on the leg side.

Using Jardine's fast leg theory, England won the next Ashes series 4–1, but there were complaints about the bodyline tactic and spectators caused disruption on the tour. The Australian Cricket Board also threatened to take diplomatic action. Unless stopped at once, it was likely to damage the friendly relations between Australia and England. After that, the laws of cricket changed so that no more than one fast ball aimed at the body was permitted per over, and having more than two fielders behind square leg was banned.

Pre and Post-World War II Era

England's tour of India in the 1933–34 season recorded the first Test match to be played on the subcontinent. In the 1938 Ashes, Len Hutton made the highest-ever Test score by an Englishman, 364 runs. The 1938–39 tour of South Africa saw another experiment with the deciding Test being a timeless Test that was played for 14 days. A record 1981 runs were scored, and the concept of timeless Tests was abandoned. England went on one final tour of the West Indies in 1939 before World War II.

England suffered further humiliation against Bradman's invincible side in the 1948 Ashes series. Hutton was controversially dropped for the third Test, and England were bowled out for just 52 at The Oval. The series proved to be Bradman's final Ashes series.

England’s fortunes changed on the 1953 Ashes tour as they won the series 1–0. England did not lose a series between their 1950–51 and 1958–59 tours of Australia and secured a famous victory in 1954–55 under the captaincy of Len Hutton. The 1956 series was remembered for the bowling of Jim Laker, who took 46 wickets at an average of 9.62, including figures of 19/90 at Old Trafford. On 24 August 1959, England achieved its only 5–0 whitewash of India.

Three Decades of Mediocrity

The early and middle 1960s were poor periods for English cricket. Despite England's strength on paper, Australia held the Ashes and the West Indies dominated England in the early part of the decade. Despite beating New Zealand 3–0, England went on to lose to the West Indies, and again failed in the 1964 Ashes, losing the home series 1–0.

However, from 1966 to 1971, they played a total of 40 consecutive Tests with only one defeat. During this period, they beat New Zealand, India, the West Indies and Pakistan and regained the Ashes from Australia in 1970–71. The England team was never truly settled throughout the 1980s, which will probably be remembered as a low point in the team’s performance. While some of their great players like Ian Botham, Graham Gooch and David Gower had fine careers, the team rarely succeeded in beating good oppositions throughout the decade.

Ian Botham took over the team’s captaincy in 1980 and they put up a good fight against the West Indies, losing a five-match Test series 1–0. In the 1981 Ashes, Botham played exceptionally well and was named Man of the Match in the third, fourth and fifth Tests. The series became known as Botham's Ashes as England recorded a 3–1 victory.

England hosted the Cricket World Cup in 1983 and reached the semi-finals, but their Test form remained poor and they suffered defeats against New Zealand, Pakistan and the West Indies. In 1986, Micky Stewart was appointed the first full-time coach of the English team.

England reached the final of the 1987 World Cup, but lost by seven runs against Australia. After losing a Test series 4–0 to the West Indies, England lost the Ashes to a resurgent Australia led by Allan Border.

Losing Finalists and Takeover by ECB

If the 1980s were a low point for English Test cricket, the 1990s were only a slight improvement. The arrival of Gooch as captain in 1990 led the team toward more professionalism. The team gave 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 against Pakistan in 1992, exposed England’s bowling weaknesses. Having lost three of the first four Tests played in England in 1993, Gooch resigned to be replaced by Michael Atherton.

The team faced a lot of problems related to player selection during Atherton's stint as new chairman of selectors and Coach Ray Illingworth assumed almost sole responsibility for the team off the field. 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. During this period, England selected a whole lot of new players such as Ronnie Irani, Adam Hollioake, Craig White, Graeme Hick and Mark Ramprakash.

Alec Stewart took the reins as the team’s captain in 1998, but another Ashes series loss and an early World Cup exit cost him Test and ODI captaincy in 1999. Another reason for their poor performance was the demand to include county cricket players in the team, 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.

In 1999, with coach David Lloyd resigning after the World Cup exit and new captain Nasser Hussain just appointed, England hit rock bottom (they became the lowest-rated Test team) after losing 2–1 to New Zealand in a shambolic fashion. Following the arrival of Zimbabwean coach Duncan Fletcher, England thrashed the West Indies 3–1. England's results in Asia improved that winter with series wins against both Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The core of the side was slowly coming together as players such as the captain Hussain himself, Graham Thorpe, Darren Gough and Ashley Giles began performing on a regular basis. In 2003 though, after another first-round exit from the World Cup, Hussain resigned as captain.

Test Resurgence

Michael Vaughan took over captaincy and encouraged players to express themselves freely. England won five consecutive Test series prior to facing Australia in the 2005 Ashes series. In June 2005, England played its first-ever T20 international match, defeating Australia by 100 runs. Later that year, England defeated Australia 2–1 in a thrilling series to regain the Ashes for the first time in 16 years, having lost them in 1989. Following the 2005 Ashes win, the team suffered from a spate of serious injuries to key players such as Vaughan, Giles, Andrew Flintoff and Simon Jones. As a result, the team underwent an enforced period of transition.

In July and August 2006, several promising new players emerged. The most notable among them were the left-arm orthodox spin bowler Monty Panesar, the first Sikh to play Test cricket for England, and left-handed opening batsman Alastair Cook. In the 2006-07 Ashes, England, captained by Flintoff, lost all five Tests to concede the first Ashes whitewash in 86 years.

England performed poorly in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, losing to most of the Test-playing nations they faced and beating only the West Indies and Bangladesh. The unimpressive nature of most of their victories in the tournament, combined with heavy defeats against New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, left many commentators criticising the manner in which the England team approached the One Day game. Coach Duncan Fletcher resigned after having been eight years in the job.

Kevin Pietersen succeeded Vaughan as captain in June 2008, after England had been badly beaten by South Africa at home. The poor relationship between the two came to a head on the 2008–09 tour to India. England lost the series 1–0 and both players resigned from their positions, although Pietersen remained a member of the England team.

The 2009 Ashes series featured the first Test match played in Wales, at Sophia Gardens, Cardiff. England drew the match, thanks to a last-wicket stand by bowlers James Anderson and Panesar. With the help of fine bowling by Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann and a debut century by Jonathan Trott, England regained the Ashes.

First World Title

England won their first-ever ICC world championship, the 2010 World Twenty20, with a seven-wicket win against Australia in Barbados. The following winter in the 2010–11 Ashes, they beat Australia 3–1 to retain the urn and record their first series win in Australia in 24 years. All three of their wins were by an innings – the first time a touring side had ever recorded three innings victories in a single Test series. Cook became the Man of the Series with 766 runs.

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 against Ireland and Bangladesh before losing in the quarter-finals to Sri Lanka. However, the team's excellent form in Test cricket continued and on 13 August 2011, they became the world's top-ranked Test team after whitewashing India 4–0, their sixth consecutive series victory and eighth in the past nine series. However, this only lasted a year. They lost 3–0 to Pakistan in the winter and were then beaten 2–0 by South Africa, who replaced them at the top of the rankings.

This loss saw the resignation of Andrew Strauss as captain and his retirement from cricket. Alaister Cook replaced Strauss and led England to a 2–1 victory against India in India – their first in the country since 1984–85. In the process, Cook became the first player to score centuries in his first five Tests as captain and became England's leading century maker with 23 centuries to his name.

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 the urn for England for the fourth time in five series. However, in the away series, they found themselves utterly demolished in a 5–0 defeat, their second Ashes whitewash in less than a decade.

Following the tour, head coach Flower resigned from his position while Pietersen was dropped indefinitely from the team. After a string of disappointing results, including failing to advance from the group stage at the 2015 World Cup, new coach Trevor Bayliss oversaw an upturn of form in the ODI side, including series victories against New Zealand and Pakistan. In Tests, England reclaimed the Ashes 3–2 in the summer of 2015.

England entered the 2019 Cricket World Cup as favourites, having been ranked the number one ODI side. However, shock defeats against Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the group stage left them on the brink of elimination and needing to win their final two games against India and New Zealand to guarantee progression to the semi-finals. This was achieved by them, putting their campaign back on track, and an eight-wicket victory over Australia in the semi-final at Edgbaston meant England were in their first World Cup final since 1992. The final against New Zealand at Lord's has been described as one of the greatest and most dramatic matches in the history of cricket, with some calling it the "greatest ODI in history." Both the match and the subsequent Super Over were tied. England won by virtue of having scored more boundaries throughout the match, securing their maiden World Cup title, in their fourth appearance in the final of the tournament.

20 Fun Facts About the England Cricket Team

Here are a few things that most people do not know about the England cricket team. Some of these facts might astonish even cricket-crazy fans.

  • The modern form of the game emerged in England in the 19th century and the rules of the game were written by Marylebone Cricket Club in the same century.
  • Test matches in England used to have 4-ball overs, 5-ball overs, 6-ball overs and 8-ball overs at different times in their cricket history.
  • The Lord's Cricket Ground wasn't the first ground to host a Test match in England. It was the other London Stadium, The Oval.
  • England’s Allen Hill took both the first Test wicket and the first catch in Test cricket history.
  • In 1868, when Australia first toured England to play cricket, each player wore a different colour cap so that the spectators could identify them.
  • The England cricket team is part of the Ashes, a 138-year old contest between England and Australia. They lost The Oval Test of 1882, which led to an obituary of English cricket being published in a newspaper. The term “Ashes” has been derived from that.
  • England’s W.G. Grace was the first cricketer to endorse a product. He became an ambassador for Colman's Mustard in 1895.
  • England are the only team in the history of Test cricket to have secured 100 victories by an innings.
  • The longest cricket match took place in 1939 between England and South Africa, which ended in a tie after 14 days.
  • The England cricket team was actually known as the Marylebone Cricket Club team till 1996 when on international tours.
  • One of England's greatest batsmen, Denis Compton, won the league title and FA Cup medals for the Arsenal Football Club.
  • England was the first team to play 800 Test matches.
  • England’s Jim Laker is the only bowler to take 19 wickets in a test match. He is also one of the two bowlers to take all 10 wickets in an innings.
  • The five-minute bell, located outside Bowlers' Bar of Lord's Pavilion, is rung before the start of a day's play during a Test match.
  • Paul Collingwood of England is the only player to score a century and take 6 wickets in an ODI. He scored 112* and took 6 wickets for 31 runs against Bangladesh in 2005.
  • In the history of Test cricket, it has happened only once that at least a part of all 4 innings have been played on the same day. It happened on the second day of the second Test between England and the West Indies in 2000.
  • The England cricket team is the only team in ODI history to lose a 60-over final (1979 World Cup), a 50-over final (1992 World Cup and 2004 Champions Trophy) and a 20-over final (2013 Champions Trophy).
  • The Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester was one of only three international grounds to have the playing surface on the East-West axis.
  • The England cricket team played its first Test, first ODI and first T20I all against Australia.
  • England became the first nation to win the Cricket World Cup on a tiebreaker. They beat New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup final on the basis of the boundary count.

Cricket Match Schedule

Find out all about the biggest international series and cricket match schedule of the England cricket team.

More Series Coming Soon

Tournament Records

World Cup

Year Position
1975 Semi-finalists
1979 Runners-up
1983 Semi-finalists
1987 Runners-up
1992 Runners-up
1996 Quarter-finalists
1999 Group stage
2003 Group stage
2007 Super 8s
2011 Quarter-finalists
2015 Group stage
2019 Champions

T20 World Cup

Year Position
2007 Super 8s
2009 Super 8s
2010 Champions
2012 Super 8s
2014 Super 10s
2016 Runners-up

Champions Trophy

Year Position
1998 Quarter-finalists
2000 Quarter-finalists
2002 Group stage
2004 Runners-up
2006 Group stage
2009 Semi-finalists
2013 Runners-up
2017 Semi-finalists


World Cup

Winner: 2019

T20 World Cup

Winner: 2010

Fantasy Cricket

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Cricket Match Statistics


Opponent Matches Won Lost Drawn Tied
Australia 351 110 146 95 0
Bangladesh 10 9 1 0 0
India 122 47 26 49 0
Ireland 1 1 0 0 0
New Zealand 105 48 11 46 0
Pakistan 86 26 21 39 0
South Africa 153 64 34 55 0
Sri Lanka 34 15 8 11 0
West Indies 160 51 58 51 0
Zimbabwe 6 3 0 3 0
Total 1028 374 305 349 0
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s
Alastair Cook 161 12472 45.35 294 33
Graham Gooch 118 8900 42.58 333 20
Alex Stewart 133 8463 39.54 190 15
David Gower 117 8231 44.25 215 18
Kevin Pietersen 104 8181 47.28 227 23
Geoff Boycott 108 8114 47.72 246* 22
Joe Root 97 7823 47.99 254 17
Mike Atherton 115 7728 37.69 185* 16
Ian Bell 118 7727 42.69 235 22
Colin Cowdrey 114 7624 44.06 182 22
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 10W/5W
James Anderson 156 600 26.79 7/42 3/297
Stuart Broad 143 514 27.65 8/15 3/18
Ian Botham 102 383 28.4 8/34 4/27
Bob Willis 90 325 25.2 8/43 0/16
Fred Trueman 67 307 21.57 8/31 3/17
Derek Underwood 86 297 25.83 8/51 6/17
Graeme Swann 60 255 29.96 6/65 3/17
Brian Statham 70 252 24.84 7/39 1/9
Matthew Hoggard 67 248 30.5 7/61 1/7
Alec Bedser 51 236 24.89 7/44 5/15


Opponent Matches Won Lost Tied No Result
Afghanistan 2 2 0 0 0
Australia 152 63 84 2 3
Bangladesh 21 17 4 0 0
India 100 42 53 2 3
Ireland 13 10 2 0 1
New Zealand 91 41 43 3 4
Pakistan 88 53 32 0 3
Scotland 5 3 1 0 1
South Africa 63 28 30 1 4
Sri Lanka 75 36 36 1 2
West Indies 102 52 44 0 6
Zimbabwe 30 21 8 0 1
Total 742 368 337 9 28
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s
Eoin Morgan 219 6854 40.08 148 13
Joe Root 149 5962 50.1 133* 16
Ian Bell 161 5416 37.87 141 4
Paul Collingwood 197 5092 35.36 120* 5
Alec Stewart 170 4677 31.6 116 4
Kevin Pietersen 134 4422 41.32 130 9
Marcus Trescothick 123 4335 37.37 137 12
Graham Gooch 125 4290 36.98 142 8
Andrew Strauss 127 4205 35.63 158 6
Allan Lamb 122 4010 39.31 118 4
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 5W/4W
James Anderson 194 269 29.22 5/23 2/11
Darren Gough 158 234 26.29 5/44 2/10
Stuart Broad 121 178 30.13 5/23 1/9
Andrew Flintoff 138 168 23.61 5/19 2/6
Adil Rashid 106 155 31.67 5/27 2/7
Chris Woakes 104 149 30.34 6/45 3/9
Ian Botham 116 145 28.54 4/31 0/3
Liam Plunkett 89 135 29.7 5/52 1/6
Phil DeFreitas 103 115 32.82 4/35 0/1
Paul Collingwood 197 111 38.68 6/31 1/3


Opponent Matches Won Lost No Result
Afghanistan 2 2 0 0
Australia 19 8 10 1
India 14 7 7 0
Ireland 1 0 0 0
Netherlands 2 0 2 0
New Zealand 21 13 7 1
Pakistan 18 12 5 1
South Africa 18 8 9 0
West Indies 18 7 11 0
Zimbabwe 1 1 0 0
Total 123 66 55 2
Player Matches Runs Average Highest Score 100s/50s
Eoin Morgan 97 2278 30.37 91 0/14
Alex Hales 60 1644 31.01 116* 1/18
Jos Buttler 74 1551 29.26 77* 0/10
Kevin Pietersen 37 1176 37.93 79 0/7
Jonny Bairstow 46 932 28.24 86* 0/6
Joe Root 32 893 35.72 90* 0/5
Jason Roy 38 890 23.42 78 0/5
Dawid Malan 19 855 53.43 103* 1/9
Luke Wright 51 759 18.97 99* 0/4
Ravi Bopara 38 711 28.44 65* 0/3
Player Matches Wickets Average Best Bowling 5W/4W
Chris Jordan 55 66 25.31 4/6 0/2
Stuart Broad 56 65 22.93 4/24 0/1
Graeme Swann 39 51 16.84 3/13 0/0
Adil Rashid 52 51 25.8 3/11 0/0
Jade Dernbach 34 39 26.15 4/22 0/1
David Willey 28 34 22.38 4/7 0/1
Steven Finn 21 27 21.59 3/16 0/0
Tom Curran 27 26 31.23 4/36 0/1
Liam Plunket 22 25 25.08 3/21 0/0
Tim Bresnan 34 24 36.95 3/10 0/0

Current Squad