Cowdrey, 34, who joined Kent in 1976 and led the side between 1985 and 1990 before being released last year, has suffered from a persistent knee injury.
He left the Welsh county by mutual consent earlier this summer and retires having played six Tests, including one as captain, in 1988 against the West Indies at Headingley.
In almost 300 first-class matches, he scored more than 12,000 runs with 21 centuries at an average of nearly 32. His right-arm seam bowling earned him 200 wickets at just under 40.
Gwyn Stone, the Glamorgan secretary, said: 'He was one of the nicest men you would ever wish to meet and it was a shame that he was unable to shake of his injuries.'
Sri Lanka yesterday joined India and Pakistan in a joint bid to host cricket's 1995 World Cup. South Africa and England also want to host the competition.Reuse content