Sikandar Raza Zimbabwe Pakistan
Pakistan players celebrate the wicket of Zimbabwe opener Sikandar Raza in the 1st ODIReuters

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has written to Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe thanking him and Zimbabwe Cricket for sending their cricket team and reviving international cricket in the country after six long years. 

The Zimbabwe tour to Pakistan last month was the first by an international cricket team since the 2009 attack on Sri Lankan cricketers.

The tour, however, was not free from terror strikes, as a suicide attack killed two people near the Gaddafi stadium in Lahore where a Pakistan-Zimbabwe match was underway on 29 May. 

Nawaz Sharif, however, chose to ignore the incident in the letter he penned to Mugabe, and instead called the tour a 'resounding success'.

"The recent tour of the Zimbabwe cricket team to Pakistan was a resounding success. I am sure you have been informed of the tremendous enthusiasm of the Pakistan fans who packed the stadiums on all the matches, waving not just Pakistani flags but also those of Zimbabwe," Sharif wrote in his letter, according to The Express Tribune.

"It was the first time in six years that Pakistani fans were able to watch their team play on Pakistani soil," Sharif said. 

"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," he added. 

Pakistani police officials were able to stop a suicide bomber from entering the packed Gaddafi stadium, which would have otherwise resulted in several casualties. 

In fact, the news was blanked out from mainstream Pakistani media by the government, which justified it by saying it was to avoid a stampede at the stadium. Pakistani officials had initially dismissed the blast as a transformer explosion to avoid panic. 

The Paksitani-Zimbabwe tour continued despite the blast.