Cricket-Ex-Australia test bowler MacGill kidnapped for ransom - reports

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FILE PHOTO: Australia's MacGill prepares to bowl delivery during practice at Kingsmead in Durban

SYDNEY (Reuters) -Australian police arrested four men in dawn raids on Wednesday in connection with the alleged kidnap and assault of former test cricketer Stuart MacGill, media reported.

The 50-year-old former leg-spinner was allegedly abducted near his home in Sydney on April 14 and taken to another part of the city where he was beaten and threatened with a gun, the media said.

New South Wales (NSW) state police, who verified the abduction reports but declined to identify the victim, said the man was freed an hour after his capture and no ransom was paid for his release.

"Our belief is that the motive was purely financial. He was seen as someone that they could get money from, although no money was paid prior to him being released," Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton told reporters in Sydney.

The victim did not sustain any serious injuries but due to the traumatic experience he filed a police complaint six days after the attack, Holton said.

Police said the victim knew one of his captors.

Four men - aged 27, 29, 42 and 46 - were charged ahead of court appearances on Wednesday where media reported they did not apply for bail.

MacGill played 44 tests for Australia between 1998 and 2008 and probably would have earned many more caps had his career not coincided with that of fellow spin-bowler Shane Warne.

"Stuart's a wonderful former Australian cricketer and a member of the ACA," Australian Cricketers' Association chief executive Todd Greenberg told a news conference.

"My primary concern for Stuart today is his well-being. We've reached out to him ... and my primary message to him was to make sure he was all right."

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, Renju Jose and Byron Kaye in Sydney; editing by Shri Navaratnam and Stephen Coates)