Four men have been charged with kidnapping and assaulting a former Australian test cricketer in Sydney.
New South Wales state police said the men, including one who is allegedly known to Stuart MacGill, were arrested and charged with offences on Wednesday including taking and detaining a person in company to get advantage.
The four did not apply for bail when they appearing in a local court later on Wednesday and remain in custody.
Police allege the 50-year-old former cricketer was confronted by a man at Cremorne in the north of Sydney on April 14 before two other men arrived and helped force him into a car and take him to the city’s south west, where he was allegedly assaulted and threatened with a gun.
Police said Mr MacGill delayed reporting the incident to police until April 20 because of “significant fear”.
Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton said it would have been “a horribly traumatic experience to endure”.
“To be dragged into a car, driven to a remote location, physically assaulted, threatened with a firearm, held for a period of time then dumped, I think you’d be pretty worried about your own personal safety, the safety of your family and your friends,” Mr Holton said.
At a news conference, he said police believed the motive was financial although no ransom demands were made.
“He was seen as someone that they could get money from, although no money was paid prior to him being released,” Mr Holton said.
Australian Cricketers’ Association spokesman Todd Greenberg said his group was concerned about Mr MacGill’s state of mind.
“Stuart is a wonderful former Australian cricketer and member of the ACA. My primary concern for Stuart is his wellbeing,” Mr Greenberg said.
“We’ve reached out to him in a variety of different forms … and my primary message to Stuart is we want to make sure he is OK.”
Mr MacGill, a former leg-spin bowler, took 208 wickets in 44 test matches for Australia between 1988 and 2008.
His international career was largely overshadowed by fellow Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne, who is second on the list of all-time leading wicket takers in test cricket.