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Will Lalit Modi walk or will he be timed out? As IPL 2010 reaches its climax, the future of the IPL chairman is not in doubt. The only question leading up to Monday's Governing Council meeting - which Modi has said he will attend - is whether he will jump or be pushed. Sources say two powerful political friends of Modi's have sought time from BCCI president Shashank Manohar to get him to resign. The deadline set was Sunday morning; following a request, it has been extended to Sunday evening. Two high-profile business tycoons, both also IPL franchise owners, have been brought in to persuade Modi.

On Sunday afternoon, Modi tweeted that he would attend the meeting as IPL chairman and commissioner and had issued the agenda to the governing council.

Those may be his last actions in that role because BCCI sources insist that if Modi doesn't quit, he will be sacked on Monday. There is a crucial difference between resignation and sacking. In case of the former, a clean break is possible. A sacking - whether outright or via a suspension - will need to be followed by an inquiry, to justify reasons for removal.

Key papers will then be sought, including the controversial bid documents for Pune and Ahmedabad backed by leading corporate houses and said to be 'mentored' by specific ministers in the Indian government. Those with the most to lose are making fervent efforts to cap the controversy and virtually beseeching Modi to go quietly.

There is limited clarity on the IPL management matrix in a post-Modi period. Technically, the IPL governing council is a sub-committee of the BCCI. Modi is the chairman of the sub-committee, and this is the position he is being asked to vacate. Officially, the title of 'commissioner' doesn't exist. It was borrowed by Modi from American sport and became popular in the media but is likely to be discontinued next season.

BCCI sources say for the moment Manohar will himself take charge of the IPL sub-committee. The first few weeks are likely to be spent in a clean-up operation and a scrutiny of the Modi-era transactions and the working of the IPL staffers - including its CEO, Sundar Raman, who operated in close association with Modi.

"In the coming months, well before the next season, a professional management structure will be in place," says a BCCI insider. It is likely to consist of a "genuine CEO" who will run the tournament but will need to revert to the Governing Council for policy decisions. The CEO will be assisted by department heads for marketing, finance, logistics and the like. For instance, the IPL could get a full-fledged spokesperson who will communicate the League's deals and rulings on its website and using media releases, rather than through Twitter feeds.

Who will the new CEO be? No decision has been taken. Contrary to media reports, sources say Ravi Shastri has not been sounded out for the job. Rather, the trend seems to point to a complete outsider, somebody who is not a former cricketer and is not part of BCCI politics.

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