"They said that if somebody can prove to you that will be a better bowler by being quick then change," said Cowan, who claimed 52 Championship wickets last summer and delivered a crucial new-ball spell in the NatWest final against Warwickshire to help Essex lift the Trophy.
"I've had a short run-up all the way through my school career and into Minor Counties. People have said I should lengthen my run-up for a bit more pace, but I never felt I needed to, I felt comfortable with it.
"You know if you're not going to be an out-and-out quickie. I'm not that. I do thing others don't. I move the ball away from the right-hander, that's my general wicket-taking delivery, with the odd exception. I've got the added advantage that I'm tall and I hit the deck hard. I'm just trying to keep it simple as I can."
A back operation in 1994 made it necessary for Cowan to remodel his action with help from another Essex and England fast bowler, Neil Foster.
There is not a great deal of opportunity left for Cowan to make his mark before the opening match of the tour - against Jamaica on Friday - but he seemed on form in England's first full practice of the tour at the Kensington Club yesterday.
He looked fit and sharp during a six-over stint, played in a match-situation with a full set of fieldsmen and batsman hitting boundaries and running singles.
All the bowlers had similar spells against the batsmen, a format that will continue.
- David Field