Arfan Haider of UAE plays a stroke during the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier against Kenya. Image Credit: Ravindranath/Gulf News

Nairobi: Kenya’s long wait to qualify for the cricket T20 World Cup has run into headwinds after they were pooled alongside two highest-ranked countries, Scotland and the Netherlands.

The two European teams were the joint winners of the previous qualifying event and return to seek another ticket to the finals in 2020, which will be played in Adelaide, Australia. Others in the pool are Namibia, Bermuda, Papua New Guinea and Singapore.

“You don’t expect an easy pool at this stage of competition. It’s a tough pool that we have to play, be competitive and do what we need to do to qualify,” said head coach Maurice Odumbe. “We have a hard target and Kenya must be at its best if we are to survive the pool matches.”

Scotland, who are the top-ranked side in the 14-team tournament, will take on Singapore in the opener in Dubai while the Netherlands will take on Kenya later in the day at the same venue.