Bowen is best known for his book Cricket: A History of its Growth and Development throughout the World (1970) and for being the editor of the magazine The Cricket Quarterly which ran from 1963 until 1970. Bowen was something of a "character" and became embroiled in numerous disputes with other people in the field of cricket research.
Educated at Westminster, Bowen served in the Indian Army and spent many years in Egypt, Sudan and India. He returned to England in 1951 and transferred to the Royal Engineers as a Captain, working at the War Office. He became involved in cricket research and history in 1958.