Former Australian Test cricketer Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped and held against his will for an hour last month, but did not immediately go to police out of “significant fear” for his and his family’s safety.

NSW police said on Wednesday that four men, including a 46-year-old known to MacGill, have been arrested following an investigation into the incident on Sydney’s lower north shore on 14 April.

Detective acting superintendent Anthony Holton said NSW police believed MacGill may have been targeted for financial reasons, although no ransom demand was made.

“We think it [the motive] was purely financial – he was seen as someone they could get money from, although no money was paid prior to him being released,” Holton said.

MacGill, who played 44 Tests and took 208 wickets between 1998 and 2008, was allegedly confronted by a man in Cremorne around 8pm before two other men appeared and MacGill was forced into a vehicle.

He was then driven to a property at Bringelly, where the two men, plus another unknown man, allegedly assaulted him and threatened him with a firearm.

About an hour later, MacGill was driven to the Belmore area and released, police say.

“He has been assaulted and threatened with a firearm,” Holton said. “As a result of that, he didn’t sustain any serious injuries. He had minor injuries that didn’t need medical treatment.

“It would be a horribly traumatic experience to endure.”

The incident was reported to police six days later and detectives from the state crime command’s robbery and serious crime squad were notified.

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Police say the delay in reporting the incident was due to “the significant fear” instilled in MacGill. .

“I think you would be pretty worried about your personal safety, the safety of your family and friends,” Holton said.

“It is hard to request how people respond to trauma, so I would say that he would be conscious of his own personal safety and making sure he’s in the best position to talk to the police.”

Asked if the four men were owed money, Holton said he could not comment.

“I can say that his kidnapping is not involved in any other back story that leads to him having a personal debt to other people that he had to pay back,” he said.

An investigation under Strike Force Cain led to Wednesday morning’s arrests during dawn raids.

Investigations are continuing, police said.

Leg-spinner MacGill also played three one-day internationals for Australia during a cricket career spanning 19 years. He retired in 2012.



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