Head coach Stuart Williams expects West Indies batting star Marlon Samuels to play a seminal role with the Windies B unit, as they contest Group A of the Regional Super50 which bowls off Wednesday.
The veteran Jamaican has been appointed to lead the development side in the October 3-28 tournament, and will play alongside emerging talents like Kimani Melius, Kirstan Kallicharan and Chemar Holder.
“Marlon comes with a wealth of experience. He’s a senior player for West Indies and any team that has Marlon in it has a chance to succeed,” Williams said ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Canada at the Brian Lara Stadium.
“I expect mentorship, I expect leadership and from him. I expect him to stamp his authority on this tournament in a positive way.”
The 37-year-old Samuels has played 199 One-Day Internationals, and has garnered in excess of 5 000 runs with 10 hundreds and 30 half-centuries.
He is one of the few players in the Windies B squad with international experience and Williams hopes the younger players can also make their mark on the tournament.
“I expect each player to basically give an account of themselves,” the former West Indies opener said.
“They have the potential and I would like to see them represent themselves well and with a certain level of professionalism.”
He added: “Our strength just basically looking at the team is in our bowling. Looking at our fast bowling attack with Alzarri Joseph, Odean Smith, Chemar Holder, Ronsford Beaton – I think that’s where our strength lies.
“If we can put some runs on the board I think we can be in with a chance.”
Windies B have been installed in a difficult group alongside the likes of star-studded favourites Trinidad and Tobago, defending champions Windward Islands Volcanoes, Guyana Jaguars and Canada.
But Williams said success for Windies B would not be simply judged by winning but rather by the development the young players exhibited throughout the campaign.
“Challenges are good and at the end of the day, it’s just a game of cricket,” said Williams, a former Leeward Islands player.
“Once you’re in the dance, you have a chance. One of the things we have said is that we’re going to embrace the challenge. We spoke about it today (Tuesday) and we’re going to embrace the challenge.”
He continued: “It’s not so much about winning the tournament; I just want the guys to compete. Success is never an easy thing and there are different types of success.
“If a player just takes out a basic plan at a team meeting and [executes it], for me that will be success. Once some learning takes place, I’m happy with that.”
Group B, which bowls off on Thursday in Barbados, will comprise hosts Pride, Leeward Islands Hurricanes, Jamaica Scorpions, Combined Campuses and Colleges and United States.