WBBL - Thunder v Sixers
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 10: Ash Gardner of the Sixers fields during the Women's Big Bash League WBBL match between the Sydney Thunder and the Sydney Sixers at North Sydney Oval on December 10, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)
WBBL - Thunder v Sixers

The inaugural Women's Premier League auction has officially come to a close, with the five franchises in the competition spending close to a combined $2.5 million (AUD) on 14 Australian cricketers.

India's Smriti Mandhana received the highest bid of the night, auctioned to the Royal Challengers Bangalore for around $593,000. The 26-year-old has previously played for the Brisbane Heat, Hobart Hurricanes and Sydney Thunder in the Big Bash League, while also featuring in 29 Test matches for India.

All-rounder Ash Gardner made history as the first Australian auctioned off in the WPL, heading to the Gujarat Giants for $558,000. Gardner, a star of Australia's recent T20 World Cup side, was the Weber WBBL Player of the Year and the subject of heavy bidding between multiple franchises.

Ending up at the Giants, Gardner will now be coached by former Australian vice-captain Rachael Haynes, who was unveiled as Gujarat's maiden head coach earlier in the month.

Australian star Beth Mooney attracted plenty of attention too, also heading to the Giants for a fee of around $349,000, while Elyse Perry will be playing for the Royal Challengers Bangalore for $297,000.

448 players were up for auction on Monday in Mumbai, but just 87 of those were selected by one of the five franchises. Each franchise was able to select six overseas players, while given a budget of just over $2 million Australian dollars to purchase a minimum of 15 players.

Of the 28 Australians up for auction, 14 were selected.

The tournament will get underway on Saturday, March 4, with all 22 matches set to be played at DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai or Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai.