Suzie Bates has revealed lingering tension and regular disagreements with White Ferns coach Haidee Tiffen — but it wasn't the reason for her resignation as skipper.
The 30-year-old sent a shock through New Zealand cricketing circles today, when she announced that she would relinquish the role as White Ferns captain, less than two months out from the World Twenty20 in the West Indies.
Amy Satterthwaite takes over for the three lead-in matches against Australia, starting September 29.
Bates admitted struggling with the role over the last year. The team's poor results created difficulties between the former captain and Tiffen.
In 2017, 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.
"We both took the World Cup result pretty hard," Bates told Radio Sport.
"Haidee and I haven't always agreed on some selections. That's been challenging at times with different ideas, and I've struggled.
"That's not the reason I've stepped down, but over the years taking the burden of some results and dealings with the pressures of high performance, dropping players and not always getting the team you want is a big part of feeling the way I am."
Bates said she and Tiffen sat down to discuss issues on a regular basis, like on the Pakistan tour of the UAE last October-November.
"We did have a catch up because at times my tactics were questioned and challenged, and I agreed I hadn't got it right on occasion, so I asked for some extra support around that.
"Since that Pakistan series I felt I had more New Zealand Cricket support, because they knew there were some challenging situations, but it didn't make much of a difference. I wasn't able to enjoy it much and felt drained."
Bates said she always felt she had Tiffen's support on the field, but they had several disagreements around 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," Bates said.
"We'd talked about that over the last 12 months, and were on the same page going into England, but my heart wasn't in it as much as it should be. I knew I didn't have the energy the captaincy deserved."
Tiffen told Radio Sport they always put their differences behind them.
"Our relationship was about open and honest conversations. At times we were both frustrated at the teams' performances, certainly in England after losing five games in a row.
"There were decisions we had to make on how to win a game. We had different opinions, but always backed each other.
"As captain and coach we discussed the direction of the team all the time, and I don't see that changing in our relationship."
Tiffen said she hadn't considered any change to the captaincy, leading into the World T20.
"I was surprised [with Bates' decision], but it was clear Suzie had thought long and hard about this.
"When I spoke to her it was clear she wanted to concentrate on her game. I totally respect the courage it takes to make such a decision. I know what it's like to be a captain, it can take a toll."
Bates discussed the situation with those close to her, including former White Fern Sara McGlashan who played with her at the Southern Vipers in the Kia Super League.
"[But] this is 100 per cent my decision. I mulled over it then sent the email that I had made the decision that I thought was right for me and the team.
"I have been put under no pressure to make it. The face of women's cricket has changed so much in the last three years like the extra media stuff and the time away with the team after what was once a hobby for the girls."
Complicating matters, Bates said the review of the team after last year's World Cup disappointment had not filtered back to players who participated.
"That [feedback] went to NZC and the board. They put in steps to try to improve the environment, but the players never saw that.
"Whether that's something that needs to happen in future, that's for the new captain and coach to decide, but we didn't see those results. I did start to think 'maybe we'll get some feedback, or maybe I won't be captain' but then I was named again, so assumed the feedback was okay.
"Players asked what the results were, but New Zealand Cricket said they were putting more support around the group to ensure the environment improved, and that has happened."
Bates was appointed White Ferns captain in December 2011, having made her international debut in March 2006. She led the White Ferns at two World Cups and three World T20 tournaments.
The New Zealand squad begin a four-day camp at Lincoln tomorrow as they prepare for this month's tour to Australia.