WHEN it comes to fierce sports rivalry, this puts even the Old Firm in the shade.

India and Pakistan, who have twice gone to war over the disputed land of Kashmir, were today again locked in battle this time on a cricket pitch in Glasgow's South Side.

The Clydesdale Cricket ground at Titwood holds 5000 fans but a massive worldwide TV audience, estimated at 400million, were tuning in to it today, weather permitting.

"Hosting one of, if not the, biggest game in world cricket is a hugely exciting event for the game in Scotland," said Roddy Smith, chief executive of Cricket Scotland.

"We're delighted and honoured that India and Pakistan chose our country as the venue for this game."

The two cricket giants were taking part in a one-day international for the Future Friendship Cup.

The match was the idea of Prince Charles and was organised by the British Asian Trust, part of his Charities Foundation.

The Prince, who was attending today's event, hopes that the one-day event will suitably mark the 60th anniversary of India and Pakistan's independence from Britain.

On show today are some of the biggest names in the game, among them Pakistan's Shoaib Akhtar, the fastest bowler in the world, who has twice clocked up deliveries of more than 100mph.

India's ranks, led by Rahul Dravid, include superstar Sachin Tendulkar and the big-hitting Mehendra Dhoni.

Manoj Badale, chairman of the British Asian Trust, said: "We're delighted that so many people are able to attend a really exciting day of cricket, a one-off event which I hope people will remember for years to come.

"Those attending and watching on TV are backing our bid to help foster on-going relations, community cohesion projects and sustainable development in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka."

Lalit Modi, vice-president of the Board of Cricket Control in India, said Scotland was a great choice as venue.

"With such a large Indian and Pakistani-origin population in Glasgow, it is a fantastic opportunity to play such a match in aid of such a wonderful cause."

Both countries were eager to prove something to their fans both sides failed to qualify from their respective groups in the recent World Cup.

Not only did this mean the loss of millions of pounds in TV and advertising for both nations' cricket authorities but it also led to players' effigies being burnt and their houses being attacked.

Pakistan also lost their coach, Bob Woolmer, who was found unconscious in the team hotel in March, a day after his side had been beaten by Ireland.

Woolmer was pronounced dead in hospital, sparking a murder probe. But recently authorities said that the South African died of natural causes.

Tension between the two countries has its roots in religion and the disputed land of Kashmir.

When India won its independence from Britain, the subcontinent was divided into Hindu-dominated India and the newly-created Muslim state of Pakistan.

With partition came rioting and communal violence that left more than half a million dead, with Muslims and Hindus finding themselves on the wrong side of the newly-drawn border.

Both countries have also fought twice over Kashmir, in 1947-48 and in 1965.

In 1999 the two countries found themselves on the brink of another war when Pakistani forces infiltrated lines over the Indian border.

It was during this period the sides last met in the UK during the World Cup in England.

Organisers feared that the ongoing military skirmishes in the Kargil district of Kashmir would make the rivalry even more intense.

City police and officials at Old Trafford, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club, devised what is believed to be one of the largest security operations for a UK cricket match.

All 20,500 fans were searched for weapons, with poles and banners confiscated by stewards.

India won by 47 runs and the customary pitch invasion followed, amidst smoke bombs and fireworks. Despite a few skirmishes, only three arrests were made.

However, in 2002 Kashmir was again the site of a frontier face-off, this time involving one million troops.

Speaking before today's game, Mike Stanger, chairman of Clydesdale Cricket Club, said: "The stewards and police needed at such a game are more than what you would need for a Pakistan v Scotland game, but we don't expect any trouble.

"It will be noisy - that's for sure - but we have made all the necessary arrangements.

"People from all over the UK are travelling to Glasgow."

There was early disappointment as heavy rain delayed the start of play today.

But hopes remained high for a break in the weather. THE LOCAL VIEW BILALAR JUMAND, 28, shop worker, Pollokshields: "I'll be supporting Pakistan. I'll be going to the match at Clydesdale and I'm hoping to get to meet some of the players." TRACEY STEWART, 35, council worker, Shawlands: "I know nothing about cricket and had no idea this match was going on! You only really hear about football, and other sports should get more attention." HARRIS RIAZ, 16, student, Pollokshields: "I think it'll be a good game for the whole family and it will be a great thing for the city. I'll be going along with my grandad." MARK BROWN, 53, hairdresser, Clarkston: "I didn't have a clue that the match was going on. I don't think cricket is advertised or marketed enough here. Now that I know about it, I'd love to sit in a deckchair with a nice beer and watch it but I won't get the day off!" ABID SHUJA, 34, taxi driver, Eastwood: "I'll definitely be going and I'm hoping to get to speak to some of the players. It's a great thing for Glasgow and for fans of both India and Pakistan, though I think there are many more Pakistan fans than India fans in the city."