Bengaluru: As the fear of coronavirus (COVID-19) has gripped the world, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Thursday (March 19) decided to cheer up its followers by posting a picture of former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Dhoni, who led India to two world titles, has not played for the national team since the ICC World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. His last international match in an India jersey was in July 2019, against New Zealand in the World Cup semi-final which India lost.

Also read: New Zealand cricketers in self-isolation

After the World Cup, BCCI excluded Dhoni from the central contracted players list. This resulted in speculations that his international career might be over. Recently, former India opener Virender Sehwag said Dhoni can’t fit into the team in the current setup with KL Rahul keeping wickets in limited overs and Rishabh Pant too in the squad.

Dhoni’s fans have still not given up hope on their favourite star returning to the Indian team. They flocked to the MA Chidambaram Stadium to watch him practice during Chennai Super Kings (CSK) training sessions. That too was cancelled recently due to the growing concerns over coronavirus.

The BCCI also deferred the 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2020) till April 15. Also, it cancelled all domestic cricket matches.

Now, on Thursday morning, the official Twitter handle of the BCCI tweeted a picture of Dhoni and captioned it, “Smile is the way to be” with smiling face with smiling eyes emojis.

As soon as the picture was tweeted, fans could not keep calm. They started replying to the tweet, praising Dhoni. Also, many Twitter users said they are eagerly waiting to see Dhoni again playing for India.

With no cricket at least till April 15, Dhoni’s fans will have wait to get an update from the BCCI as to when they can see their favourite wicketkeeper-batsman in action, in IPL 2020.