New Zealand Cricket high performance boss Bryan Stronach has described the revelations of tension between White Ferns coach Haidee Tiffen and former skipper Suzie Bates as "quite a natural thing".
Stronach spoke after Bates ended her six-year captaincy tenure yesterday, less than two months from the World Twenty20 in the West Indies. Amy Satterthwaite replaced her.
Bates admitted struggling with the role of late. Last year, the White Ferns exited the World Cup for the first time in 11 editions without making the top four. This year they struggled in T20s and ODIs against England.
The poor results created difficulties between Bates and Tiffen.
"Positive conflict's a good thing," Stronach told Radio Sport.
"I don't think it was to a degree where it was damaging to the team or environment. If everyone in a team gets on perfectly all the time it's probably more wrong than a team with some conflict, because that's how you make robust, sound decisions.
"We didn't try to fix it, but yes, we were aware of it."
Stronach was asked if he believed the White Ferns were united as they prepared at Lincoln for this month's tour to Australia.
"We've still got work to do in that area, [but] it's not a train-smash by any stretch. They all want to achieve the same things, which is where they are united, but there are differing opinions on how to get there."
Bates always felt she had Tiffen's support on the field, but they had some disagreements on personnel: "The selectors, not just Haidee, had a clear campaign plan on bringing youngsters through, and I was just fighting to pick our best team."
Stronach said it was a matter of definition: "I think we don't know our best side. That, to me, is the line Haidee's going down with selection. At times we needed to trial different people in different roles to figure that out.
"They were a team wanting to perform, playing arguably the best team in the world [England], and not doing too well."
Stronach also responded to Bates' point about the lack of review feedback for players after the World Cup.
"It wasn't specifically around the players. In fact the majority was around the systems and processes supporting those players," he said. "Yes, the players didn't receive a hard copy, but were aware of anything associated with them [in the review].
"It's their right to understand anything specific to them, but a lot was not specific to them. It was about us reviewing us."
Bates agreed NZC had put more support around the group to ensure the environment improved after the Cup.