Jon Coates, The Scotsman
Scotland's cricket community was celebrating an unprecedented coup last night after it was confirmed that a one-off match between India and Pakistan would be staged in Glasgow in July.
The Citylets Titwood ground, which has undergone expansion work inspected on Wednesday by ICC official Chris Broad, will play host to cricket's bitterest rivalry on Tuesday, 3 July, in a charity promotion entitled "The Friendship Cup".
The one-day international will be relayed live to billions across the Asian subcontinent by Zee TV, and will also attract Scotland's largest cricket crowd since the 1999 World Cup, with 5,000 tickets on sale in a ballot and a corporate-hospitality capacity at Titwood of 1,000.
Part of the package is an extra one-day international this summer for Scotland. Pakistan will warm up for the India match by facing Ryan Watson's men for the second successive year at Citylets Grange in Edinburgh, on Sunday, 1 July.
"It's fantastic news for the public to have two such games in the same week," said Scotland coach Peter Drinnen. "It's great for Cricket Scotland to attract such a fixture as India v Pakistan, and it's tremendous for our players to get another game against a full member nation.
"We have a big Asian population who follow the game very closely, and to have both those teams in town at the same time would be a major, significant gain for any country. It will certainly raise the profile of cricket in Scotland yet again, after all the strides we have taken, and it will be tremendous if it attracts more kids to the game, whether Asian or not."
The ballot for India-Pakistan tickets, priced at £44, opened last night on www.britishasiantrust.com and will close at midnight on 27 May. The maximum order is four tickets per person.
The idea of bringing a charity match under the Friendship Cup banner to the UK was dreamt up by the Prince of Wales and the British Asian Trust, a new subsidiary of his Charities Foundation, to mark the 60th anniversary celebrations of India and Pakistan's independence.
Clarence House said the event would raise £2.5m for charities in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the UK.
Lalit Modi, vice-president of Indian cricket's governing body, the BCCI, said: 'This will be an amazing occasion as both our nations have not met outside the World Cup or the ICC Trophy in the United Kingdom."
Zakir Khan, director of cricket operations for the Pakistan Cricket Board, added: 'Glasgow will be a great venue as there is a great passion for cricket across the UK which will make it a fantastic match.'
The economic benefits to Scottish cricket are not yet known with Glasgow City Council, which has funded the ground improvements at Titwood, taking charge of the glamour occasion.
The Council Leader, Steven Purcell, said: 'Hosting the Friendship Cup is a great honour for the city and further cements Glasgow's reputation as a vibrant city which is welcoming to all."
Pakistan's visit to Scotland will come 12 months since their last, when under the supervision of Bob Woolmer, their late coach, they beat Watson's Scots by five wickets to kick off a tour of England.
However, Pakistani cricket has gone from crisis to crisis in the past six months, with drugs suspensions handed out to fast bowlers Shoaib Akhtar and Mohammad Sami - since overturned by the PCB - and the team's humiliating World Cup exit, which was followed by the tragic death of Woolmer in Jamaica.
Akhtar yesterday declared himself available for selection for the trip.
Meanwhile, the European Twenty20 Challenge, scheduled to take place in Belfast in late July, has been cancelled due to the organisation of a quadrangular series between Ireland, Scotland, West Indies and Netherlands earlier in the month.