Cricket star Kim Barnett in court job fight after being sacked for crashing Bentley
FORMER England cricketer Kim Barnett was sacked after writing off a Bentley in a 90mph crash while working for a luxury car hire firm, an employment tribunal has heard.
The 52-year-old, pictured, was dismissed for gross misconduct following a disciplinary hearing into the accident in Scotland in February.
Mr Barnett was not seriously injured after hitting a patch of black ice, losing control of the Bentley and crashing into a motorway barrier.
Data produced by Warrington-based Performance Car Hire (PCH) indicated the Bentley had been travelling at 91mph prior to the accident.
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But Mr Barnett, who coaches at Staffordshire County Cricket Club, has taken PCH to an employment tribunal after claiming he was unfairly dismissed.
He disputes driving at 91mph, although he says the company put pressure on its drivers to break the speed limit in order to deliver cars on time.
Mr Barnett's job was to drive PCH cars, which include Porsches, Ferraris and Jaguars, to and from locations across the country.
Mr Barnett, who lives in Leek, told the Hanley tribunal: "People have had speeding tickets while working for PCH and they've never been censured or told not to speed. Speeding wasn't an issue within the company, as they wanted the things delivered on time.
"If they want a car delivered to Hemel Hempstead, 90 miles away, in an hour, the maths is simple. That's just the reality of it I'm afraid."
PCH office manager Gail Nixon defended her decision to sack Mr Barnett and denied claims that she might have exceeded her authority.
She said: "I did research and discussed things with my husband, who is a factory manager and gave examples of gross misconduct.
"I felt that a vehicle being driven at 91mph in adverse weather conditions was capable of being a gross misconduct issue."
PCH also denies Mr Barnett was an employee, saying he was only engaged on a casual basis during his five years with the firm. Only employees can claim unfair dismissal.
But Mr Barnett claimed that he usually worked more than 30 hours a week for PCH, despite also being employed by Staffordshire CCC and playing in the North Staffordshire and South Cheshire League.
The batsman was named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year in 1989. He played four Test matches for England. A decision is expected next month.