AB De Villiers South Africa
South Africa receive major blow as AB De Villiers fails to recover before Australia seriesReuters

South Africa star cricket AB De Villiers will miss the the home and away series against Australia, scheduled to start September 30, owing to an elbow injury for which he has to undergo surgery. The 32-year-old swashbuckling batsman had suffered the knock in elbow injury in August and that prevented the Proteas skipper from playing two Test matches against New Zealand.

De Villiers failed a fitness test on Tuesday morning and it was then confirmed by Cricket South Africa (CSA) that he will miss the five-match ODI series as well as the three-match away Test series against the Aussies.

"AB de Villiers is still symptomatic and has not recovered from his elbow impingement injury which makes surgery the only long-term solution," stated South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee. "We have tried the conservative management of rest, physio, rehab and cortisone infiltration into the elbow, but that has not yielded the results that we would have liked.

"He will have surgery to the elbow early next week and the target is to hopefully have him back for the Sri Lankan home series over the Christmas period."

De Villiers, meanwhile, had been named in the Proteas preliminary squad for the one-off ODI against Ireland, played on September 25 in Benoni, but was later dropped from the squad as he needed additional days of rest.

Faf du Plessis will lead the South Africa cricket team during De Villiers's absence.