|The England cricket team (Welsh: Tîm criced Lloegr) is the cricket team which represents England and Wales. Since 1 January 1997 it has been governed by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB), having been previously governed by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) from 1903 until the end of 1996.
The first overseas tour occurred in September 1859 with England going to 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 match, starting on 15 March 1877 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground came to be regarded as the first Test match. England and Australia were the first teams to be granted Test status and they gained full membership to the International Cricket Council (ICC) on 15 June 1909. England and Australia also took part in the first One Day International (ODI) on 5 January 1971. England played their first Twenty20 match on 13 June 2005, facing Australia once again.
England would lose their first home series 1–0 in 1882. As a result of this loss the tour of 1882–83 was dubbed by England captain Ivo Bligh as "the quest to regain the ashes". England with a mixture of amateurs and professionals won the series 2–1. Bligh was presented with an urn that contained some ashes, which have variously been said to be of a bail, ball or even a woman's veil and so The Ashes was born. England would dominate many of these early contests with England winning the Ashes series 10 times between 1884–98.
As of 23 August 2009, England has won 310 of the 891 Test matches they have played and are ranked fifth in the ICC Test Championship. They have finished runners-up in 3 Cricket World Cups (1979, 1987 and 1992), and have also been runners up once in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2004. They are currently ranked fifth in the ICC ODI Championship.
In 2005, England under Michael Vaughan's captaincy and aided by Kevin Pietersen's batting in his maiden series (most notably 158 at the Oval), and Andrew Flintoff's superb all-round performances, defeated Australia 2–1 to regain the Ashes for the first time in 18 years. In 2005 England, captained by Flintoff, lost all 5 Tests to concede the first Ashes whitewash in 86 years.
In the summer of 2009 England regained The Ashes in a 2–1 series win with a 197 run victory against Australia at the Brit Oval. This victory has left England in fifth place in the ICC rankings but it had the effect of demoting Australia from first to fourth.