HARARE - Zimbabwe have appointed Graeme Cremer as captain of a 16-man squad named on Thursday for the two-test series against New Zealand starting next week.

The 29-year-old spinner replaces Brendan Taylor in the role for Zimbabwe's first test since they lost three matches in Bangladesh in late 2014. Four uncapped players - Chamu Chibhabha, Prince Masvaure, Peter Moor and Taurai Muzarabani - were selected in the squad for the matches in Bulawayo.

The first test begins next Thursday and the second on Aug. 6. It will be the first test at the Queens Sports Club in almost five years since New Zealand won a one-off match there by 34 runs in November 2011. New Zealand play Zimbabwe A in a three-day practice match at the Harare Sports Club on Friday before flying to Bulawayo.

New Zealand arrive in Zimbabwe for two-Test series: New Zealand's Test squad arrived in Zimbabwe on Wednesday for a two-match series, ending the uncertainty over the tour that had emerged in the wake of widespread protests in Zimbabwe over civil and economic issues. The 15-man squad led by Kane Williamson had undergone a week-long conditioning camp in South Africa and are now in Harare for a three-day warm-up fixture starting on July 22. "It's nice to finally be here. We had a good tour here last year, so I'm sure it will be much the same," Tom Latham, the New Zealand opener, said upon arrival in Harare. "It was a good week of preparation for us in South Africa.

"It was good to catch up with the guys. We want to win every game, like we do on most tours. "It's nice to have everyone back, everyone is fully fit. We'll get the warm-up game out of the way and then focus on the two Tests."

New Zealand Cricket had said earlier this month that they were monitoring the security situation in Zimbabwe following a nationwide strike to protest the lack of jobs and unpaid wages, which had left the city streets deserted. Several other strikes - reportedly featuring the likes of civil servants, doctors, and teachers - have also taken place in the drought-hit country.

The first Test begins on July 28, and the second is slated to start on August 6. Both Tests will be played at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. Morgan convinced England cricket team can bounce back against Pakistan with return of big guns.