England have just finished what instantly goes down as one of their worst winters on record.

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A hopeless World Cup defence was followed by consecutive limited overs series defeats in the Caribbean, before a 4-1 loss in India rounded off a generally miserable winter. 

But how does it compare to previously difficult winters?

Only twice have England tasted defeat more than the 15 times they lost in 2023/24. The record for their ‘lose-iest’ winter is held by the 2013/14 season which saw them lose 18 matches and win just five. Ten years ago, England were on the receiving end of an Ashes drubbing Down Under before crashing out of the 2014 World T20 at the earliest possible opportunity. Stuart Broad’s side finished that winter with a 45-run defeat to the Netherlands in their final World T20 group stage fixture, crumbling for just 88 in a chase of 134.

Ashes series are a common theme on the list of England’s worst winters. 2006/07 – a winter that saw another Ashes whitewash before an unsuccessful World Cup campaign – is second with 17 defeats. England played 28 matches that winter, however, picking up 11 wins on the way; their win-loss ratio of 0.647 is by no means among the worst. That winter actually saw England prevail in an ODI tri-series involving Australia and New Zealand months before Australia would go on to lift the World Cup for the third time in a row.

Going back to the days where Test cricket was the sole international format, it was not particularly unusual for England to go winless across an entire winter. In fact, this happened eight times with the most recent occurrence in the pre-ODI era taking place in 1968/69 when England were simultaneously winless and unbeaten on a Test tour of Pakistan.

The most recent winless winter of any kind came in 1980/81 where England lost a four-Test series 2-0 to the West Indies, as well as losing two ODIs against the same opposition. Five years later, it wasn’t much better for England, losing all five Tests and three of their four ODIs against West Indies. 

In winters where at least 10 games across formats were contested, the worst two years by win-loss ratio, unsurprisingly, both occurred in the 1990s. England achieved a win-loss ratio of 0.272 in both 1990/91 and 1995/96, marginally worse than what their corresponding figure for 2013/14. In 1990/91, England lost another Ashes series Down Under – this time only 3-0 – and lost eight of their 11 ODIs against Australia and New Zealand. All three of those wins came against New Zealand; they did not manage a single victory over Australia that season from nine games across formats.

In 1995/96 is potentially the worst of the lot – England won just three of their 18 matches and two of those victories came over non-Test playing nations at the 1996 World Cup. Their sole Full Member victory came in a 6-1 ODI series defeat to South Africa which was played after a five-Test series that the Proteas won 1-0. The winter was capped off by a quarter-final exit at the 1996 World Cup when eventual winners Sri Lanka knocked off a target of 236 with 10 overs to spare.

England also only won three matches in 2008/09 with all three victories coming in an ODI series against West Indies at the very end of the winter. Prior to the West Indies ODIs, England had gone 13 games without tasting victory – a run spanning an all-format tour of India and a five-Test series against West Indies.