By Carlena Knight
Following the news that cricket personality Labon “Gravy” Benjamin had fallen ill, a number of stakeholders partnered to assist.
Local business Cool and Smooth in partnership with the Leeward Islands Cricket Board (LICB) and the Antigua and Barbuda Cricket Association (ABCA) made a monetary donation and a recliner to Benjamin when they visited his home on Wednesday afternoon.
The three entities held a cricket match late last month at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Grounds that saw the Cool and Smooth T20 Explosion All-Star team battle the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) team, the St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
A percentage of those funds were geared towards assisting Benjamin with his medical expenses.
LICB Cricket Operations Manager Vernon Springer was present at the ceremony and spoke highly of the cricket icon.
“Let me take some time out to salute my good friend, someone that I know very well from my childhood days in St. Kitts and somebody who, when I came to Antigua and Barbuda, I would talk to almost every day.
“Once there was cricket at the Antigua Recreation Grounds (ARG), once there was football in St. Kitts at Warner Park, he was someone that I grew accustomed to. In fact, there were two special persons that I always had to have a conversation with – one was Gravy and one was King Progress – at the airport and that has not changed.”
Springer, who made one of two presentations to Benjamin, further noted that this will be the first of many presentations.
“I want to say that this afternoon, this special presentation that we are going to make to Labon “Gravy” Benjamin is going to be an ongoing presentation, because we are going to make sure that we look after our national icons, and we see Gravy as not only a national icon but we see Gravy as somebody who has made a huge contribution to sports in general, not just cricket but sports in general in the entire world.
“People come to Antigua and Barbuda because they would have heard about Gravy and would have remembered his exploits.”
The Kittitian also pledged to work closely and increase efforts to bring Gravy back to his ‘former glory’.
“We are not giving you up, we are right here with you giving you all the support that we can. Mr. Amir [Hourani] and myself and the LICB and the ABCA, we are going global to make sure we are looking after you and make sure that everything is going to be in place. You can rest assured we are going to be here for you my brother.”