RAYNARD Van Tonder is setting his sights high with Billericay Cricket Club this season.

The 24-year-old South African will be spending the summer playing in Division One of the Essex League.

But, longer term, Van Tonder is eager to reach the very top of the sport.

“It is still only the beginning of my career and I’m looking forward to playing international cricket for a long period of time,” said Van Tonder.

“I would love to play some County cricket in the future as many other South Africans have done in the past.”

Van Tonder certainly has the pedigree to go far having previously skippered South Africa at the 2018 Under 19 World Cup where he also scored more runs that any of his team-mates.

Two years later, Van Tonder was also added to South Africa’s Test squad for their series against Sri Lanka.

But for now his focus is firmly on Billericay.

“I wanted to play some cricket in the UK and Billericay seemed like a club with good facilities and a club I would enjoy,” said Van Tonder.

“My early impressions of the club have only been positive too.

“The lads and staff have all been very welcoming and have done everything they can to make sure I’m comfortable and settled.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time with them so far.

“It’s a very young and exciting team which is great for the future of Billericay.”

Billericay have made a strong start to the season and currently the top of the table having picked up 91 points from their first six games.

Last time out, they secured a 10 wicket win against Shenfield with Van Tonder scoring 88 not out.

And he now wants that to be the sign of things to come.

“I want to contribute towards the teams success with big runs, score big hundreds,” said Van Tonder.

“I also want to finish first to get the team promoted.”

Van Tonder is not the first South African to be seeking success with Billericay either as Grant Roelofsen took centre stage for them last season.

Roelofsen’s form caught the attention of Essex who signed him for their Royal London One Day Cup campaign last term.

The big hitting batsman is now with Gloucestershire.