ESSEX cricket stars past and present have expressed their excitement at the redevelopment of the County Ground in Chelmsford.

Ronnie Irani, who captained Essex between 2000 and 2007, believes the redevelopment will boost the atmosphere.

The 41-year-old who played three test matches for England said: “We’ve got to improve the stadium and people want to experience good facilities.

“When you look at other stadiums, people do experience better. Life isn’t cheap anymore so fans want value for money.

“I think this redevelopment will bring that to all cricket fans coming to watch games here.”

Graham Napier, who has played for Essex since 1997, added the redevelopment of the County Ground is exciting for him and his team-mates.

The all-rounder, who hit 152 not out against Sussex in a Twenty20 game at Chelmsford in 2008, said it will be brilliant to have new facilities.

He added: “When talks started happening in 2004 about the redevelopment, it was exciting.

“It has taken eight years to get to this stage, but hopefully the next few years will see things get better.

“I’m really looking forward to using the new facilities and we can catch up with other grounds which have already redeveloped.”