MacGill reveals emotional trauma a year after being kidnapped by armed bandits

Melbourne, June 18 : Former Australia cricketer Stuart MacGill has revealed his life has been left "paused" by a harrowing kidnapping incident by masked bandits in April 2021, which saw him being beaten and dumped. The 51-year-old former leg-spinner, who played 44 Tests and took 208 wickets, told on Saturday that the emotional scars following the incident have left painful memories, adding that the delay in the start of court proceedings is the "biggest problem" as he comes to terms with the past. Four people were arrested following the incident, including the brother of his partner Maria O'Meagher, but the case will only come before the court in October 2023, compounding MacGill's misery. "Unfortunately, that (court date) is the biggest problem for me because I sort of feel like it's pretty much put everything on hold for me," MacGill told SEN WA Breakfast. "It is an ongoing police investigation... (but) I've made a statement to police and it's on record, so I can discuss my statement. I never really got along well with my partner's brother. I made a (business) introduction (between a friend and Maria's brother). "The two of them then went away and did some business and there was a theft, it was alleged that my friend had knocked off Maria's brother, and that caused all sorts of problems for me because they considered I was responsible for that. That certainly wasn't the case, I was not involved in their business in any way, shape or form and I never would be. "Consequently, Maria's brother came round to my place and told me it was my fault and I was responsible. It was not something you'd even like to happen to your worst enemy. Later in the day, it was getting quite dark, I was bundled into a car," added MacGill. Detailing the kidnapping, which shocked Australia, MacGill said that he had no choice but to get into the vehicle of the kidnappers as they were armed. "I didn't want to get into the car, I said to them twice, 'I'm not getting in the car,' but then it became obvious they were armed, and they said, 'We know you're not involved, we just want to have a chat,' then they put me in the car and I was in the car for an hour and a half." MacGill said he was so scared when he was being driven around unfamiliar Sydney roads that it was "the longest hour and a half of my life". "I didn't know where we were, I didn't know where we were going and I was scared. From that point, they stripped me naked, beat me up, threatened me and then just dumped me. That was over the course of maybe three hours out in the middle of nowhere in a little shed. I was scared, I was humiliated and I really didn't know what was going to happen. Then they chucked me back in the car and dropped me in Belmore, and I didn't really know where I was then either, to be honest." He revealed that a cab driver dropped him home but things did not end there as he was told to cough up the money. "They'd told me I had to come up with money to ease their burden, despite the fact they told me over and over again I had nothing to do with the business transaction. I wasn't even aware of it. I've felt a huge amount of pressure. I basically ran away for a month afterward. Maria chucked me in the back of her car, I was in the boot, I got out of my unit, then I had a couple of mates who very generously put me up in hotels around Sydney for two or three weeks, and then I went away with (a friend). "We ended up driving up the coast of New South Wales and through Queensland and ended up on Fraser Island, so all up I was probably away for six weeks or so. By the time I got home most of the guys had been arrested, which was good," he said. /IANS


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