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Nawaz Sharif expressed his gratitude to the President of Zimbabwe

11 June, 2015

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday expressed his gratitude to the President of Zimbabwe, Mr. Robert Mugabe, after the successful and safe tour of the Zimbabwean Cricket Team to Pakistan.

In a letter dispatched from Prime Minister House yesterday, the premier regarded the recent cricket tour as a “resounding success”.

He expressed delight over the reception fans gave to the Zimbabwean cricketers.

“I am sure you have been informed about the tremendous enthusiasm of the Pakistani fans who packed the stadium on all the matches, waving not just Pakistani flags but also those of Zimbabwe,” the letter mentioned adding that, “Numerous fans were carrying banners thanking Zimbabwe for sending the team.”

Sharif wholeheartedly gave the larger part of the credit for the successful tour to the Zimbabwean president and appreciated the support the African country's government gave to Pakistan when most of the cricket world did not.

“The government and people of Pakistan are grateful to you for your leadership, vision and solidarity with Pakistan and Pakistani cricket for helping make this entertaining cricket contest a reality,” the statement said.

The PM recognised the fact that this tour ended a six-year-long drought of international cricket in Pakistan and also gave the opportunity to many players to play on their home soil for the very first time.

The Zimbabwe Cricket Team toured Pakistan despite security concerns by the ICC and the international cricket community.

Premier Sharif expressed confidence and hope that this tour would pave way for other teams to tour the country.

“The successful series has now paved way for Pakistan to host other teams and to be reintegrated into the mainstream of international cricket.” The letter mentioned thanks for the historic step that Zimbabwe took. “The role that Zimbabwe played in making this happen shall never be forgotten.”

The tour was under a slight threat when on the night of 29th May, a suicide attack took place at striking distance from the Gaddafi Stadium, but the Pakistani authorities convinced the Zimbabweans to continue the tour.

Regarding this unfortunate event, the letter from PM Nawaz said, “I would also like to avail this opportunity to convey through you our appreciation and gratitude to the Zimbabwe Cricket Board for organising this tour and going ahead with it despite last minute hitches."

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