Former cricket star Stuart MacGill was so frightened after being kidnapped, assaulted and threatened with a gun that he waited almost a week to go to police.
"It would be a horribly traumatic experience to endure," Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton said on Wednesday.
MacGill was forced into a car at Cremorne on Sydney's north shore about 8pm on April 14, before being taken to a remote location, police say.
Three assailants held the 50-year-old there for an hour before dumping him in Belmore, in Sydney's west, about 45 minutes' drive away.
The leg-spinning bowler, who took 208 wickets for Australia in 44 Test matches between 1998 and 2008, was allegedly forced into the car after being confronted on the street by a 46-year-old man he knew.
Four men allegedly involved in the kidnapping were arrested in dawn raids on Wednesday.
MacGill's "significant fear" led to his delay in reporting, Det Supt Holton told reporters.
"Everyone experiences trauma differently," he said.
"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," he said.
The men's motive was purely financial - to obtain "as much money as they possibly could" - but they didn't issue a ransom demand and didn't end up with any money.
MacGill sustained minor injuries but did not require medical treatment.
Det Supt Holton said he had only been held for an hour at the property - at Bringelly in Sydney's southwest - but it would have been a "frightful hour".
"You'd be questioning what could potentially happen to you in that time," he said.
He said there was "no suggestion" drugs were involved.
"I can say that his kidnapping is not involved in any other backstory that leads to him having any personal debt to people that he had to pay back," Det Supt Holton said when asked if MacGill owed money.
Police raided homes at Sutherland, Caringbah, Brighton Le-Sands, Banksia and Marrickville on Wednesday morning, where they seized electronic devices, clothing and vehicles.
They also searched a property in Bringelly.
The four men charged - Son Minh Nguyen, 42, Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, and Frederick and Richard Schaaf, 27 and 29 - did not apply for bail at their first appearance in Sutherland Local Court on Wednesday.
All men face one kidnapping charge of taking and detaining a person in company to get advantage and occasion actual bodily harm.
Nguyen has additionally been charged with knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group, while Sotiropoulos faces one count for supplying a prohibited drug of a large commercial quantity.
The Schaaf brothers also face a charge each of participating in a criminal group contributing to criminal activity.
Police say they will be "closely monitoring" MacGill's welfare, and officers were with him this morning to check on him and let him know the outcome of the arrests.
Only 16 Australians have claimed more Test wickets than MacGill, although his career was stymied by the presence of fellow legspinner and the nation's record wicket-taker Shane Warne.
Frustrated at not being able to perform at his best on return from hand and wrist surgery, MacGill abruptly announced his retirement midway through a 2008 Test match in the West Indies.