South Africa's new captain for shorter formats AB de Villiers will be out of action for four to six weeks after he was told to undergo surgery for his broken left hand middle finger. That means he will not be leading the T20 and ODI sides against Australia, prompting convener of selectors Andrew Hudson to say Champions League has not been kind to the Proteas.

AB de Villiers (left) during the CLT20. Pic/AFP

"He saw a hand surgeon Thursday and was advised surgery on the injured finger. A pin or a plate will be inserted to stabilise the finger," ESPNCricinfo quoted South Africa's cricket manager Mohammad Moosajee as saying. "AB's injury does not only affect the captaincy, he is also the wicketkeeper and a top order batsman," Hudson said.

CL hasn't been kind
"The Champions League hasn't been kind to us," Hudson said. "Last year we lost Dale Steyn, Jacques Kallis and Albie Morkel and we can only hope we don't suffer more." Steyn fell on his head after backpedalling to take a catch while Kallis sustained a back injury and Morkel strained his side, which caused the trio to miss out on matches against Zimbabwe. With a more important series, against Australia, coming this year, Hudson hoped that the casualties will not mount. De Villiers broke the middle finger on his left hand during a fielding session on Wednesday with the Royal Challengers Bangalore ahead of their CLT20 game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.

De Villiers' injury sets back South Africa's plans of starting a new era, with Gary Kirsten as head coach and de Villiers as captain in limited-overs formats. Instead, they will have to put contingency plans in place. The national selectors met at the Wanderers, venue of season-opening first-class fixtures, to finalise the T20 and ODI squads, most importantly who will stand in for de Villiers as captain. "We debated that at length and we will name the captain while announcing the squads next week," said Hudson. �